Story and photos by
Joe Milliken - Sports Editor
The Springfield High School boys' soccer team entered the Division II state tournament as the number-one seed with an impressive 12-2 record.
However after being upset in the first round of the playoffs last year, coach Paul Kendall and his team knows that records and seeds mean nothing and you shouldn't take anything for granted.
So on this soggy day in Springfield, the Cosmos took on number-eight seeded Montpelier as if they were a number-one seed themselves, which turned out to be a good idea in what would become a defensive struggle.
This was especially the case in the first half, as neither team could get much offense going on the wet field. In fact, at the mid-way point of the first half, both teams had mustered just one shot on goal.
In the last 10 minutes of the half, the Cosmos offense started to click, generating a few good opportunities and forcing Montpelier goal keeper Nathan Koenemann to make several nice saves in a short period of time.
However the best chance of the half might of come from the Salons, when after beating a defender just outside the box, junior Ryan Dell'Amico blasted a shot from about 15 yards out that went just wide of the left post.
In the second half, both teams continued to play disciplined defense and somewhat cautious on offense, however the Cosmos did carry most of the play into the Salons end of the field, yet with nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
However, with just under seven minutes left in regulation the Cosmos front line took charge with some nice passing that produced a shot from 10 yards out for Derek Graham, who pushed a shot inside the left post for what would turn out to be the only goal of the match.
To Montpelier's credit however, this contest was far from over, as a couple corner kicks in the last two minutes produced great scoring chances for the Salons.
One of which had to be stopped from going into the net by Cosmos mid fielder Cody Filkins, who barely stopped the shot from going in after keeper Jordan Pfenning had come out of the net to try and make the play.
It was a tight win for Springfield, who at press time await the winner of number-five seeded Rice and number-four U-32 match up. Stay tuned.
Clockwise from upper right, Springfield's John Kendall pushes through the defense, the Cosmos' Colin Brady looks to cross a ball past a defender, Kendall blasts a shot towards the box, James Karkowski takes a shot and two players fight for a loose ball as the Cosmos' bench looks on.