Comets’ youth can’t overcome Crusaders’ experience, fall 2-1 in playoffs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Sports Editor

St. Charles finished its regular season with some flare, but the team’s youth and inexperience added up to a one-and-done postseason stay.

The No. 23 seeded Comets fell 7-0 on Thursday at No. 10 Westminster in a Division III bi-district playoff match.

”This team progressed beyond all my expectations this year,” said St. Charles Coach Rick Woodroof. “These guys had to learn the game this season. They had so far to come, and they came very far. But we just ran into a superior team.”

After losing 10 straight matches to begin the season, SCC finished by winning five of its last nine.

Westminster (17-8-1) will turn its attention to a district foe of the Comets (5-14) — No. 7 seeded E.D. White, which dispatched Dunham 3-1 in the opening round.

The Crusaders wasted no time in taking the lead, scoring in the first minute on a header that came off of a throw in.

“We didn’t block out very well,” said Woodroof. “Shortest guy on the team put it in there.”

It became a tiresome theme for SCC. Westminster continued to cash in on throw ins and corner kicks, adding two more first half goals in the same fashion.

“We played as we trained,” said Woodroof. “We didn’t spend as much time on defending free plays. When you’re as young as us, there’s only so much you can do in a year.

“But I’ve never seen anything like it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more than one of those scored against one of my teams.”

Westminster led 4-0 at halftime, scoring its fourth goal on a penalty kick – compounding matters was that a Comet player received a red card, mandating an ejection and that SCC would have to play the second half a man down, 10 against 11.

“He just reacted to something that had happened – I can’t fault him completely. I just chalk it up to inexperience,” said Woodroof.

Despite being a man down, Woodroof found that his team had a few more offensive opportunities in the second half due to a strategic shift – but nothing that would amount to a major push.

“Their defense did a very good job. I can’t say that we had any really good looks,” said Woodroof.

“But our guys never quit. They continued to play hard…they gave me all I could ever ask for this season.”