DOYLESTOWN >> The Central Bucks East and Upper Dublin boys soccer teams were separated by just one spot in the District 1 Class-AAAA playoff seedings. On the field, it wasn’t nearly as close.
The No. 8 seeded Patriots beat the No. 9 seeded Cardinals, 4-0, Thursday afternoon at Central Bucks East High School in the second round of the district playoffs.
It did not take long for East to show its dominance. The Patriots scored three goals between the sixth minute and the 13th minute to take a commanding 3-0 lead.
“That’s huge — we come out and they’re just deflated from the first 10 minutes of the game,” East’s Liam Creedon said. “They just have no energy for the rest of the game. Getting that lead is just huge.”
The first goal was scored by Tomasz Ogonowski. Eric Quigley crossed a beautiful pass from the left side of the field and Ogonowski one-timed it home from the right.
Just 71 seconds later, the Patriots were at it again. This time Creedon just chipped the ball past the keeper from the left side for the 2-0 advantage.
Six minutes after that, Quigley scored a goal of his own. Coming up the right side, he used a soft touch to beat a defender and left the goalie with no chance to stop him from making it a 3-0 game.
The Patriots made it 4-0 in the 27th minute. Keegan Cannon corralled the ball in the box after a throw in and buried it home for the final goal of the game.
“Obviously they are a very good team,” Upper Dublin coach Derek Priest said. “But we shot ourselves in the foot a bit, made a few silly mistakes and against a team this good you just can’t afford to do that. We gave them four chances, they scored four goals.”
The Upper Dublin offense managed just one shot on goal all game and two other chances that came early in the second half. A big reason for that was the play of East’s defenders.
“I focus on (defense),” East coach Jeremiah White said. “That’s sort of the school I come from having played, especially in France. I think that’s number one — everything starts from the back. You try and keep it organized and have the players stay focused and do the job.”
“They were very well-organized,” Priest said of the East defense. “They have great players. (Kiel Kittleson) I thought had a great game for them. A lot of our problem was we were trying to kick it long down the middle for one guy against their whole back four. I kept telling them all of our success this year has come from getting the ball out wide so we could get players up to support and we just didn’t do that today.”
East will face the winner of No. 1 Conestoga and No. 16 Abington Saturday, either home or away depending on the winner. White is familiar with at least one player on top-seeded Conestoga.
“The goalkeeper for Conestoga plays for my club team,” White said. “I know a couple of the other players. They’re a really good team. It’s going to be a really difficult game. This is what you look forward to — playing the best teams. They’re obviously one of the top teams in the country. If they win, we look forward to the opportunity to play them.”
The loss brings the SOL American champion Cardinals season to an end.
“If we lost today I could accept that,” Priest said. “But the first 20 minutes of the game, I felt frustrated for those guys the season ends with a 4-0 defeat. But overall, at the beginning of every year my number one goal is to win the conference. We’ll take that.”