Spartans set up All-American championship game on Thursday


The Spartans got some revenge for a 1-0 loss to the Cardinals last month

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Boardman Spartans boys soccer team set up an All-American Conference championship game Thursday night by knocking off their rivals from Canfield 2-0 at Boardman Spartans Stadium.  The victory improves the Spartans to 11-2-2 overall, 6-1 in the conference.  The Cardinals drop to 8-4-2, 4-3 in the league.

The Spartans will host the Howland Tigers Thursday night for the title as both teams will enter the contest with identical 6-1 records in the league.  The Spartans were able to get past the Tigers back on September 21st, 4-2.

“We had a little bit of a cushion because we could have tied and still played for the championship on Thursday, but it’s nice to go into that game with Howland with both of us at 6-1.  We said all year long that if we want to win this, it has to go through Howland.  So we are excited about that opportunity,” Spartans’ coach Eric Simione said.

“We knew if we wanted to get the title by ourselves and not share it, we had to come out here tonight and win this game,” Spartans’ senior forward Cole Congson added.  “We didn’t have the best week last week, but we came out here and we stepped it up and everybody played their best.”

The Cardinals knocked off the Spartans back on September 16th, so it meant double satisfaction in getting a little revenge for that loss and to also knock off their rival.

“These guys all know each other personally.  Our guys know their guys, but when they get out on the field they want to beat each other,” Cardinals’ coach Brady Clark said.  “We got them at home 1-0 a couple of weeks ago, so they obviously wanted to get even with us, and they did.  They are our biggest rival right now.”

The Spartans would get on the board at the 15:45 mark when junior Ian McGavin pushed the ball past the Cardinals goalkeeper on a free-kick from the corner by teammate Congson.

“I knew free kicks would be a big part of our attack.  I just put it over the wall so he (goalkeeper) couldn’t see it until the last second.  He was able to get a hand on it, but he wasn’t able to clean it up,” Congson said.

Congson would seal the game at the 65:58 mark when he took a throw from his goaltender Carson Essad and streak past the Cardinal defense to bury the ball in the back of the net for the 2-0 advantage.

“I was worried that Cole was going to pull up because when Cole gets the ball, a lot of times only Cole knows what he is going to do with it.  But he went straight in with that one and tapped it to the left around the keeper and finished it in the back of the net,” Simione described the Congson goal.

The Cardinals will also be back in action on Thursday night when they host the Austintown-Fitch Falcons.

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