In terms of timing, the Christian Brothers Academy boys soccer team’s showdown with Fowler last Tuesday night could not have been worse.
For the state Class A no. 5-ranked Brothers, whose lone defeat this season had come to Fowler Sept. 13 in a 2-1 overtime thriller at Burnet Park, last Tuesday’s rematch at Alibrandi Stadium offered a chance to even things up before the Section III Class A playoffs – and also win a share of the OHSL Freedom National division regular-season title.
Neither would happen, though, as the Brothers, wracked by injuries on the back line, could not contain the Falcons and lost a 3-0 decision at Alibrandi Stadium.
Not only were three starting defenders and two other starters out, so was goalie Mike Smith, who had a hairline fracture in his jaw, though he is expected to return for the post-season.
Ethan Wiley replaced Smith in the net. With just one start this season, Wiley was in a tough position, but managed to make some early stops against Fowler’s relentless pressure and would finish with seven saves.
Midway through the first half, though, the Falcons seized control. In the 19th minute, Mupenzi Kubera headed Jean-Paul Mboyo’s corner kick past Wiley, and less than four minutes later the pair struck again, Kubera taking a midfield pass from Mboyo and streaking a low shot inside the right post.
Just like that, it was 2-0, and though the Brothers had a handful of chances, it never could put together a sustained attack or pressure Fowler goalie Abdullah Abdulkareem, who did make a diving stop on Matt DePerro’s shot in the 55th minute. Ghanem Ghanem added a goal with 5:57 left.
East Syracuse-Minoa, 5-7-1 going into the week, took a big blow in last Tuesday night’s 2-1 defeat to Fulton at Spartan Stadium.