Crusaders sink Pirates in boys soccer action

Friday, September 11, 2009
Perryville goalie Cody Call scoops up a drive that got too far away from Saxony Lutheran's Mark Buerck during Thursday's game at Saxony Lutheran High School. (Kit Doyle)

Saxony Lutheran dominated play against Perryville, but the Crusaders had to sweat it out.

Saxony outshot Perryville 22-8 in its 1-0 victory in boys soccer Thursday.

"We really haven't had a ton of opportunities in the games we've had so far," Crusaders coach Ryan Schweain said. "I don't know if they had that chance and they were like, 'Oh crap, what do we do now.' ... Every shot seemed like if they didn't get it off in that split second, they wouldn't get that shot, so they were just rushing it."

Saxony (4-2) jumped off to a quick start, controlling the majority of the possession and applying early pressure on Perryville (2-2).

Mark Buerck was the main reason for the Crusaders' dominance. Buerck, the center midfielder for Saxony, was all over the place. He set up several scoring opportunities while controlling the middle of the field.

Perryville sophomore Alex Robinson draws a foul by Saxony's Mathew Wills during Thursday's game.

"Mark is a good center midfielder," Schweain said. "He can run all day. He doesn't dribble a lot. He just gets the ball and sends it wide or up top. I wouldn't trade him for anybody."

It was Buerck's play that helped Saxony strike.

About 17 minutes in, Buerck flicked a header to teammate Brent Rodewald, who took off down the center of the field. Rodewald beat a defender then passed to a streaking Gus Klaus on the left side who beat the keeper coming out on him.

"I was hoping I'd get that through ball," Klaus said. "It came and I just looked and played a nice, easy ball past the keeper. Perryville beat us two times last year. We took that kind of personal. We just wanted to get out here and show them we can play."

The Crusaders would continue to dominate play, using the entire field and quick passing to wear down the Pirates.

"We had good intensity," Buerck said. "We started passing the ball like coach said, made those runs on the outside and got great ball movement."

"Saxony played a very controlled game," Perryville coach Jerry Fulton said. "They outhustled us, they beat us to 50-50 balls, they just played a superb game. I feel very fortunate it was only a 1-0 game. Saxony just outplayed us. My hat's off to them. Their team was ready. They deserved to win. They looked very good."

Saxony nearly made it 2-0 with 10 minutes remaining in the opening half.

Taylor Johnson beat his man to the goal line and played a pass to the center of the box for Buerck, but Buerck's shot sailed wide left.

Perryville responded with a nice chance five minutes later.

Wade Lawrence drew a foul just outside the 18-yard box. On the free kick, Lawrence played a nice ball across the center of the box, but Saxony's defender just got a head on it to clear it from danger.

"I have a good defense," Schweain said. "They've all been playing back there awhile. Two seniors have been back there all four years."

The second half was much like the opening half, with Saxony controlling play.

Yet the Crusaders could not cash in on several golden chances.

"We just need to start capitalizing on opportunities we are getting," Klaus said. "We had a lot of chances to get goals there and didn't put them in the back of the net."

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