CORBIN—The finals of the 13th Region Tournament was once a high goal for North Laurel. With their second trip in the last three years, now they want to get a little further.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s Corbin or whoever it is we play. You want to get that region. North has never won a region title,” North Laurel coach Mark Acampa said.
The Redhounds kept North Laurel from advancing to the state tournament Wednesday with a 5-1 win. It was also Corbin that stopped the Jaguars 1-0 on penalty kicks in 2012.
“It’s obviously a building process and we are getting there. You look at where we were five years ago and this is a different team,” Acampa said.
The Jaguars won just four games in each of the two years prior to Acampa taking over the program. Meanwhile for Corbin it’s more of the same. The Redhounds have won three straight region titles by playing their best when it counts.
“It’s the right time of the year isn’t it,” Corbin coach Armondo Cima said. “I like the way we are playing for the most part.”
Wednesday’s win was the ninth straight for Corbin, who had a 4-5 record before getting on a winning streak. One of those losses was 4-2 to North Laurel. Corbin outscored the Jaguars 10-1 in the district and region tournaments.
“We’ve always had a very potent offense I think. Now they are getting a bit more confidence in the way we defend front to back. That’s really what we started to talk about midseason when you start to see our goals against get less,” Cima said.
Corbin allowed seven goals to Model in its last loss. They have allowed just 10 goals in the nine games since that loss. Cima said there are two things he discusses with his team when playing North Laurel
“The first thing is defensively keeping (Keaton Kennedy) out of the game. I don’t think we did much different tonight other than the fact that I said the best way for us to keep their most potent threat out of the game is for us to just keep the ball,” Cima said.
The Redhounds did that with Kennedy getting only limited touches. He did not score.
“The other thing we talk about is their goal keeper. I think Nick (Herrmann) is a very, very good goal keeper and you have to put goals away on him,” Cima said. “If you look at the goals we scored, they were crafty goals.”
The Redhounds first goal came in the sixth minute when Ryan Johnson bodied in a cross from Jacob Storms. It would be the only goal of the first half.
“If we could have come back and tied it early it would have changed the whole complexion and given us the boost we needed. Going down 2-0 made it difficult,” Acampa said.
The second goal came in the 46th minute on a pinpoint free kick by Tulio Canineu. Lucas Canineu and Tulio Canineu both lined up behind the ball on the free kick and used misdirection to keep the keeper from reading who will kick. It was Tulio Canineu that placed the curving shot into the top corner of the goal.
“That was a brilliant free kick. You can’t teach a kid to do that. He’s out hitting it all the time. We work on set plays and that is one of our set plays,” Cima said. “But that’s just God-given talent.”
In the 56th minute, Lucas Canineu fired a far-post shot from inside the box for a 3-0 lead. It would be less than a minute later when Tulio Canineu struck again by making another free kick look easy.
“It was a frustrating game for the most part. I still think our boys did a great job. I’m proud of the effort they put into it. They definitely left it all out of the field,” Acampa said.
The Jaguars would get on the board in the 59th minute when Aaron Rader found the back of the net on a pass from Kennedy. The Redhounds would punch in one more goal in the 67th minute when Dylan Browne found an open lane.
“The ball was being spread wide and we were tracking the whole game. The way Corbin played the score could have been a lot worse,” Acampa said.
Kennedy, Cole Stenger, and Brad Hundley were named to the All District Team from North Laurel. Mike Votolato was named Defensive MVP.