WARDEN — Connell’s youth movement scored twice in the second half and the Eagles handed Warden its third consecutive shutout with a 4-nil loss Thursday afternoon in SCAC East action.
Eagles sophomore Alemu Kaskitalo scored in the 50th minute and freshman Alexis Ramirez made it a four-goal deficit with another score in the 70th minute and Connell (7-2-1, 3-2 SCAC East) rolled on after taking a 2-0 lead into the intermission. Ramirez and Frank Enriquez had the first-half goals.
“The big thing today is they finished and we didn’t,” head coach Cameron Black said. “You can only take so much pounding on the door before they start going in. I thought our goalkeeper Tyrone Mendez did a good job today, but they finally got to him a couple of times there in the second half.”
The cross wind came hard out of the south making the ball dangerous when a goalkeeper had to deal with a high ball. Ramirez came in off the left wing in the second half and sent the ball high across the mouth of the Warden goal. Mendez hesitated in net as the Eagles crashed. The ball just kept going, clearing outstretched hands just under the crossbar at the far post for the final score of the afternoon.
“I thought that was a cross, but it is what it is,” Black said. “The last two years Connell has been the top team in the league and we’re starting to move our way up in terms of competition.
“Today was just one of those days where we didn’t finish and it finally caught up with us.”
Warden (1-5-2, 1-4 SCAC East) controlled the ball well at the midfield, but was a little slow on the transition. The heavy right to left cross wind didn’t help matters, but the Cougars only had a handful of scoring opportunities on the day. There best came in the 75th minute when Juan Martinez took a through ball into the box one-on-one with Eagles goalkeeper Ulises Cano. Martinez put a low, and away shot on the far post, away from the diving Cano, but it sailed wide.
Connell out-shot Warden 6-4. Cano made three saves, while Mendez had six for the Cougars, who host Okanogan on Saturday.
Connell 2 2 - 4
Warden 0 0 - 0
Shots on goal: Warden 4, Connell 6. Saves: Warden 6, Connell 3