When Morristown East and Powell took the field on Tuesday evening for the ‘Canes final home match of the regular season, neither team expected what would take place over the next 80 minutes.
The two teams battled mentally and physically throughout the match as 10 yellow cards, two red cards and a multitude of fouls were called. After the dust settled, it was Powell, using a goal just five minutes into the second half, that came out on top with a 1-0 victory.
“In the first half, we played slow and not aggressive at all,” Morristown East coach Eric Wright said. “At halftime, I pushed them to be more aggressive. But this game, both sides battled with the referee. It is what it is though. We are just trying to get prepared for next week.”
It was a back-and-forth affair in the first half as neither team could really get any tractions going. East had a few chances in the first half, none better than when Juan Peregrina had the ball right in front of goal late in the half, but could not convert.
In the second half, Powell finally got the scoring going when Carlos Martinez converted right in front of goal.
From there, the game turned into a stop-and-go affair as fouls were being called left and right. East had their chances, including multiple corner kicks and shots in the box. However, the ‘Canes could not convert, falling to the Panthers.
“We picked up our speed and were more aggressive,” Wright said. “We moved the ball a little bit better. We just kept getting beat down though there. I could tell.”
At halftime of Tuesday evening’s contest, the ‘Canes honored their four seniors, Alex Lucas, Aaron Cooper, Daniel Pedraza and Israel Cruz.
“All four of them have been really big assets this season,” Wright said. “I hate to lose all of them. They have all been really good players for us.”
Morristown East will have one game left in the regular season as they travel to take on Chuckey Doak on Thursday night. Then, they will begin district play, travelling to Knox West for their semifinal matchup.
“We just need to be more aggressive and work on our communication,” Wright said.