KENT — For one half at Stanton Stadium, the annual backyard rivalry game between Kent Roosevelt and Stow-Munroe Falls mirrored recently contests.
Roosevelt’s defense and speed on the counterattack was negating Stow’s possession-oriented attack. However, Stow coach Kyle Kosmala counseled patience to his team at halftime.
"It’s an 80-minute game," Kosmala said. "We told them, in games like this, the breakdowns come at bout the 60th minute."
The veteran Bulldogs coach was proven right.
Stow got goals in the 61th and 64th minute to score a 2-0 win over Roosevelt Saturday at Stanton. Stow improved to 3-1-2, while Roosevelt dropped to 4-3.
Roosevelt coach Kiel Cox said the game could have been different had his team buried its chances in the first half.
"Obviously, they’re good. I can’t think of a coach I have more respect for than Kyle [Kosmala]," Cox said. "We have to find a way to get big goals in big games. That’s the next step in our maturation process."
"Kiel does a great job with his team," Kosmala said. "They were fast up top. Our defense did a great job of dealing with them in transition."
Cox said he felt Roosevelt had the better chances in the first half. Freshman Alex Horak may have had Roosevelt’s best chance in the 33rd minute, but his shot hit the crossbar. Cox also noted senior Gabe Gaines put a shot just wide in the frst half.
Stow had the possession edge throughout the game, but Kosmala noted at least 10 Stow shots were blocked by Roosevelt defenders.
The breakthrough came in the 61st minute on a free kick. Stow defender Bryce Danus worked a soft ball, allowed forward Josh Colvis to get to the end line. Colvis sent a crossing back into the six-yard box, which bounced off a Roosevelt defender and into the net for an own goal.
"It was a very dangerous ball," Cox said. "There’s a reason why you play it."
Stow got its second goal, thanks to a pair of hustle plays. A ball into the box was contested by Stow forward Travis Shrout and Roosevelt goaltender Nick Montanari.
Montanari got to the ball just as Shrout kicked it, but the loose ball bounced wide and Stow forward Miles Thomas blasted it into the open net.
"Travis Shrout did what he does. He has a tendency to stick his nose where it doesn’t belong," Kosmala said. "He was right there going for the ball and Miles came crashing after him."
Things got chippy after the second goal, as both teams with hit with yellow card cautions. However, Roosevelt’s best chance to get back in the game ended when a free kick from Horak in the 74th minute was saved by Stow goalkeeper Chris Miller.
Montanari finished with four saves on the night, as Stow finished with a slight 6-5 edge in shots on goal. Miller finished with four saves.
"Our guys played physical tonight," Kosmala said. "We fixed a lot of thing we didn’t do on Tuesday."
The Bulldogs are set to travel to Wadsworth Tuesday at 7 p.m. before hosting North Canton Hoover next Saturday at 7 p.m.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MLeonard_GHO