By Rick Conrad For the Pharos-Tribune
---- — FULTON — It has been an up and down season for the Caston soccer team but head coach Nars Sanchez was hoping that his squad was ready for tournament action.
Though they battled all the way to the end the Comets fell short against a solid Rochester club in a 3-0 loss to the Zebras on Monday at the Class A Caston Sectional.
Sanchez wanted his charges to control the game and work for high percentage shots. Unfortunately for Caston it was the Zebras that controlled the ball throughout most of the game.
Even though Caston was scrapping and fighting trying to match Rochester’s intensity, the Comets were lacking in ball control and failed to put themselves in position to score.
Time after time the Comets held the ball too long before trying to get the ball to an open teammate allowing the Rochester defense to get back into position to defend. Caston was also a bit reluctant in going after the 50-50 balls.
Rochester lit up the scoreboard first in the game’s fifth minute when Zachary DuBois slipped past his defender and blasted it just past the outstretched hands of Comet goalie Nate Cousins for an early 1-0 lead.
At the 10:29 mark of the first Rochester again had a nice look at the goal but the Zebra offering was shot down by Cousins. Then at the 8:59 mark DuBois struck again off a very nice assist from Noah Roberts to up the Zebra lead to 2-0.
Caston’s best shot at a goal came with 4:10 left before the break when Sarah Holt sent a nice pass from the wing into the middle to Alex Howdeshell for the shot. Howdeshell’s offering was just left of the goal and Rochester went into the break with a 2-0 lead.
When play resumed in the second half it appeared the Comets increased their level of intensity on both ends of the field but a lack of ball control was still the theme for Caston. Caston had a nice chance to cut into the Zebra lead at the 29:31 mark of the second half when Howdeshell went up for a corner kick from 10 feet out. Howdeshell’s timing was off just a bit off and when he went up for the kick the ball hit off his upper leg and soared over the goal and the Comets came up empty.
Rochester’s last score came with 22:16 to play when Zachary Agnew took a shot that was deflected by the goalie. Agnew’s rebound shot though found nothing but net giving the Zebras the 3-0 win.
“It’s unfortunate. We had a rough season overall. We put in all those hours of practice and to go out in the first game of the tournament is always tough,” said Sanchez. “Kudos to coach Brown and their whole team. They were able to capitalize on a couple of our mistakes and get scores off them. I’m proud of my team though. They played hard and they’re all a great group of kids to coach. We had our chances but we just couldn’t get the job done.”