Central Bucks East overcomes Souderton, rain to clinch SOL Continental title

DOYLESTOWN — Not the rain, nor the Souderton boys soccer team could be put a damper on Central Bucks East’s day as the Patriots clinched their fourth Suburban One League Continental Conference championship in five years.

The Indians were unable to play role of the spoiler. But there was more on the line Wednesday than just being a cloud over the East’s parade. Big Red finds itself on the postseason bubble and a win could have gone a long way in securing a spot in the District 1-AAA field. Now after the 3-1 loss, Souderton has to wait and see if the points add up and the committee grants the Indians a chance.

“I don’t think we are going to make it,’ Indians senior forward Danny Sullivan said. “It was going to be close even if we beat this team. I still think we did really well this season.’

With the Indians (8-7-3, 7-5-2 conference) holding the 32nd seed in the latest District 1-AAA power rankings they needed to leap over four teams, as 28 teams make the postseason. A win over the fourth seeded Patriots (16-2-0 13-1-0) would have gone a long way to making that happen. And for 37 minutes, it looked like it might happen.

“We don’t fear anybody,’ Souderton coach Matt Benner said. “I was happy with the first half. We put pressure on their back line. We knew that East was going to come at us. I thought the goal right before the half changed the complexity a little bit. If we could have got to the half 1-0 we could have nailed it down in the second half.’

The Indians opened the scoring on a quick transition. The defense cleared the ball and it found the foot of Sullivan. One untimely error by the Patriots sweeper and the senior was in for a clear kick. The ball was blasted over top of the goalie and the Indians held the early edge.

“We had confidence after the goal,’ Sullivan said. “Everything came back into my head. Maybe districts, maybe another game, but they came back and scored three goals.’

The Patriots never panicked in the pouring rain and found the back of the net at the end of the first half and in opening minutes of the second half. The rest of the game, Big Red spent trying to attack against the Patriots’ best attempts to control possession. The best chance came in the 55th minute on a thrown into the box. The Patriots cleared and 10 minutes later capped off the contest with their third and final score.

“We played well in the beginning and kind of lost it when they put the second goal in,’ Sullivan said. “Our tempo slowed down. We still played our heart out, for us seniors being our last game ever, it’s tough.’

Heading into the regular-season finale, Benner continued to preach taking care of business on the pitch and not hoping teams around the league lose and it all breaks their way. Even though very unlikely, the Indians can only hope teams right ahead of them — Cheltenham, Interboro, Penn Wood and William Tennent — fall. Otherwise Souderton’s season ends on a gloomy day with a gloomy feeling.

“Guys in this program have seen the ups and the downs,’ Benner said. “It is a little bit of a disappointment for the road to end here.’


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