Trojans home for 1st round of soccer playoffs

WORTON — The route to a Class 1A East Region I boys soccer title, and with it an automatic berth in the state tournament, will take participants to top-seeded Perryville.

But for the Trojans, their journey will start at home.

Kent County (3-9) will host Bohemia Manor (1-9-1) in an opening-round match Wednesday, Oct. 25. The action starts at 5 p.m.

Hard-luck Kent has lost three one-goal matches, including a 2-1 setback to Colonel Richardson last week in the regular-season finale.

What held up to be the winning goal was a deflection off the head of a Kent County player.

The other Colonel goal was the result of a penalty kick.

“We were playing great,” said KCHS head coach Tom Speakman, who was especially complimentary of the defensive line of Jayden Miller, Noah Iacona, Stewart Hickman and Bryce Jacobs.

“It’s one of those games I can’t believe we lost,” the coach said in a phone interview Sunday. “We outplayed them most of the match.”

Will Speakman’s unassisted goal gave the Trojans a 1-0 lead at intermission.

Colonel Richardson leveled the score at 1-all on a PK that was awarded after the ball ran up the leg of a Kent defender and brushed his hand.

The go-ahead goal, what ultimately stood up as the winning goal, was equally freaky. First-year keeper Leyder Cruz had the line on the shot and appeared to be in position to make a save when the ball glanced off the head of a Kent defender, changing the trajectory of the ball — i.e., Cruz went one way and the ball went in the opposite direction.

Tom Speakman has been very pleased with the Trojans’ effort and execution this season.

“We’re just young,” he said of a squad that has only two returning seniors.

“They have done a great job,” the coach added. “The record doesn’t reflect their heart and tenacity and hard work.”

Starting the playoffs at home is a bonus.

After a long weekend off, it was back to business Monday.

“Everyone is feeling refreshed and ready,” assistant coach Dennis Hickman said in a text message Tuesday morning. 

He said the focus on practices Monday and Tuesday was the “little things” that included effective passing and movement, as well as set plays for corners and match kickoff.

“We want to come out firing on Wednesday and leave it all on the field,” Hickman said in the text.

The winner of Wednesday’s match at Kent County between the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds will travel to Perryville for the East Region I semifinals either Friday or Saturday.

Meantime, No. 2 seed Colonel Richardson (4-6-2) will host No. 3 seed St. Michaels (3-7-2) in the other semifinal.

The championship match is Oct. 31 at the higher seed.

In the other half of the 1A East bracket, Region II consists of all the lower Shore small schools. Pocomoke (8-4) is the top seed.

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