It all came down to one unlucky bounce.
That was what put an end to the remarkable season the Central Bucks East boys soccer team had.
The Patriots fell 1-0 to Downingtown East in Tuesday’s opening round of the District One Class 4A boys soccer tournament, in a game held at CB East’s First Lt. Colby Umbrell Field at Patriot Stadium.
The Patriots dominated the first half, and while both teams managed to get three shots on goal, the Patriots had three corner kicks. They could not capitalize, which would come back to haunt them.
Three minutes and 12 seconds into the second half, Drew Murta of Downingtown East got his foot on the ball as it caromed in front of the net and set it into the top right corner out of reach of CB East goaltender Tyler Okin for what would prove to be the winning strike.
“It was one bounce but that’s soccer and that’s the tough part,” CB East coach Josh Isaacsohn said. “We went at it and in these games when you have opportunities early and you don’t finish it can come back and bite you and unfortunately that’s what happened. We just couldn’t put it away.
“They were bigger in size than us but I thought we could pass or finesse around them but that final touch in the box just wasn’t there for us in this one.”
Okin had three saves for the day and CB East had four shots on goal to five for Downingtown East and six corners kicks to none for the Cougars.
“We didn’t know much about them,” CB East junior Michael Ferrante said. “We knew they were big, they were strong, and they were physical and they showed it. I think we matched them. We had the same energy as them. This game really did just come down to one moment going their way. I think we dominated the whole game but we needed to put the ball in the back of the net.”
CB East, seeded 15th in the tournament, ends the year with a 10-7-2 record. The Patriots finished second in the Suburban One League Continental Conference.
“We had a bunch of good senior leaders who brought the team together and the coaches brought the team together,” CB East senior Nolan Case said. “It was a family, a community, and we were doing it for each other.
“It was a very exciting season. We all worked very hard. It’s a season to be proud of. We beat North Penn, we beat CB West twice and those are the moments you live for, when you can beat the best teams in the area.”
The triumph for the Patriots was that they achieved all this after a dismal 5-11-2 record in 2018. This year’s team was very young, and went up against a veteran Downingtown East squad that boasted 16 seniors.
“It’s amazing,” Issacsohn said. “To go from double digit losses to double digit wins says a tremendous amount about the boys and especially the senior class. They’re just rock stars.
“I’m very, very excited for what we have coming down the pike. I’m very thrilled about what could potentially be our next two years or three years. There’s a lot of promise.”
Downingtown East (10-5-4), the 18th seed of the tournament, advances to Thursday’s second round, traveling to second seed Lower Merion (17-0-1) at 3:30 p.m. The Aces received a first-round bye.