DUBLIN —The Eagles of East Bladen were pushed by cross-county rival West Bladen on Wednesday in the Four County Conference regular-season soccer finale, but managed to take a 4-2 decision.
The win improved the Eagles to 10-9-2 overall and 6-7-1 in the conference. The Knights fell to 4-14-0 overall and 1-13 in the conference.
Neither team could break the defense through a majority of the first half — until Joel Cromartie scored for East Bladen in the 34th minute. That seemed to take the wind out of the West Bladen sails, and Jose Diaz found the back of the Knights’ net just 3 minutes later for a 2-0 East Bladen lead at halftime.
Thirteen minutes into the second half, West Bladen’s Clay Allen cut the deficit in half with a goal for the Knights. But East Bladen’s Jake Mazur got the goal back 8 minutes later to give the Eagles a 3-1 edge.
As the match began to wind down, Edwin Labra notched a goal for West Bladen in the 76th minute to pull the Knights to within 3-2, but Colby Hester booted in a goal for East Bladen with just 1 minute left to play for the final tally.
— Monday’s Four County Conference soccer match between East Bladen and Union proved to be a tale of two halves, with the Spartans winning the first half and the Eagles taking the second.
But Union’s half was better than East Bladen’s half, and the Raiders went home with a 3-1 victory.
After a quiet 14 minutes of play, Union found the back of the Eagles’ net and took a 1-0 lead. That score held up until deep in the first half, when the Spartans outhustled East Bladen for two more goals and a 3-0 lead at halftime.
Eagles coach Jay Raynor made his adjustments during intermission and it paid dividends almost right away.
East Bladen pressured the Spartans hard until, about 10 minutes into the second half, Jake Mazur got his head on a corner kick off the foot of Jose Diaz and bumped it into the Union net, cutting the deficit to 3-1.
The Eagles got a few more chances to score through the rest of play, but couldn’t convert any of them.
— In Dublin on Monday, the Knights of West Bladen were shut out for the seventh time this season and lost their ninth straight Four County Conference match, this one 5-0 to the Midway Raiders.
Midway got on the board with the only goal it would need just 2 minutes into the match, then added two more before halftime for a 3-0 edge.
The Raiders tacked on two more goals in the second half to seal the match.