LaSalle versus Central Bucks West 1st Round State Tournament
In a bruising, evenly matched soccer game played between two high quality opponents, one might expect that at this time of the year a 0-0 contest might ensue with OTs and PKs ending it. The LaSalle College High Explorers and Central Bucks West Bucks were certainly heading in that direction in a highly charged atmosphere at the neutral Northeast Supersite.
It was the first round of the AAAA State tournament, pitting the Philadelphia Catholic and City Champion Explorers against the 4-seeded Bucks out of District 1 and the Suburban One League. On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, this was supposed to be the final of a three game slate at NE, but severe weather conditions caused the officials, coaches and the PIAA representatives to cancel the game literally as the opening tap off was about to occur. Even with a new turf and full drainage capabilities, it was deemed too dangerous to continue. The game was rescheduled to Wednesday, same time and same location.
Strenuous efforts by all the contestants, solid offense, defense and goal work came down to a free (direct) kick taken from about 25-30 yards out, with approximately 16 minutes left, by Tarin Morris (senior mid and co-captain) of CBW. With the wall set up, Morris surprised everyone, including the grizzled veterans at the scoring table, by firing low, keeping the ball on the ground to the far side post.
LaSalle’s experienced and very tall (6’5”) goal keeper senior Brett Werner was caught off guard as the ball streamed past him to his right. It caught the very bottom edge of the post and slowly trickled into the net. Morris certainly must have paid attention in physics class when learning that the angle of incidence always equals the angle of reflectance because he shocked all in attendance, scoring the only goal of this physical, athletic game with a very simple, soft shot.
The Explorers tried valiantly to tie the game, pulling most of their defense forward, but to no avail as the Bucks prevailed. CBW will advance to the State quarter finals to play on Saturday, November 11 at Tulpehocken High, facing off against District 3 power Cumberland Valley. LaSalle’s season is over, but an accomplished campaign it was. The Explorers have nothing to be ashamed of in their efforts.