Perryville takes down Saxony in possible district preview

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It was a game that Saxony Lutheran boys soccer coach Chris Crawford said had a “postseason feel to it.”
If that was how a possible district tournament matchup between Perryville and Saxony would feel, both coaches may get a few gray hairs in the process.
In an intense game that came down to the final seconds, it was Perryville’s quick strikes in the second half that proved to be the difference as the Pirates picked up a 2-1 victory over the Crusaders Oct. 7 at the Larry Cleair Track and Soccer Field Complex.
The result of the game could possibly give Perryville (13-1) the No. 1 seed in the Class 2, District 1 tournament later this month.
“That will most likely be the case as long as we don’t mess it up,” Perryville coach Jerry Fulton said.
Crawford praised Perryville for the hard-fought game.
“With the form we have been in this week, this was a much better showing,” Crawford said. “I thought for 70 minutes we played a good game, but for 10 minutes we lost our brains and they took advantage of it. I expect our guys to do the same thing if given the opportunity. Perryville is very good and ranked No. 2 in the state for a reason.”
However, it was that 10 minute stretch that decided the game.
With Saxony leading 1-0 at halftime. it was Perryville that came out with the energy in the second half. Stratton Kaempfe had the best scoring chance for Perryville up to that point.
Kaempfe beat the defense and was all alone, but narrowly missed the far post in the 52nd minute.
That was just the precursor for what to come. Bryce Brewer capitalized the on a flick pass from Carson Adams and rang a shot off the post and into the back of the net to tie the game 1-1 in the 54th minute.
From then on it was the Pirates who applied the pressure. The Pirates pelted the Saxony goalie with five shots in the next five minutes and outshot Saxony 12-7 in the game.
Two minutes after the first goal, the Pirates struck again in a scrum in front of the net as Brewer found Dayton Strattman for a shot that glanced off the Saxony goalkeeper and gave Perryville the 2-1 advantage.
“We talked at halftime about how we wanted to play quickly, but we were playing so fast that we were giving the ball away,” Fulton said. “We needed to slow that down, and make good passes. We did that and I thought it turned the whole game around.”
That wasn’t the end of the drama as Saxony (8-7) had one last gasp to tie the game.
Saxony’s throw-in in the final minute bounced around the feet of several players before Perryville goalkeeper Ty Baudendistel pounced on it. The senior had four saves in the game.
“I got a little nervous and would have loved to get a third goal,” Fulton said. “I would have loved to have a little breathing room, but that’s how it goes.”
In the 25th minute Saxony struck first when Max Richey sent a free kick in front of the goal that found Luke Eggemeyer.
Next, Eggemeyer’s shot glanced off Perryville defender Riley Hagan and in to give Saxony the early 1-0 lead.
“We talk all the time about how set pieces win games,” Crawford said. “It’s always a heavyweight matchup when we get together with Perryville.”
Those set pieces were exactly how Saxony secured their only goal of the contest. Saxony also had three chances off of throw-ins in front of the goal mouth in their offensive end.
Saxony has played some of the top teams in the state including Notre Dame, Jackson and Fort Zumwalt North, all three of those were losses for the Crusaders on the scoreboard, but Crawford feels like games with teams like Perryville prepare them for the postseason.
“We have seen everything that can be thrown at us,” Crawford said. “We are ready to play anyone. If we had Chaminade and SLU on our schedule we would play them, too. We may not win, but we will go down swinging.”
While they may not see those bigger schools, they possibly will see Perryville in the district championship game. Fulton and Crawford know they will be ready should it happen.
“I’m sure Coach Fulton will have some tricks up his sleeve and we will have some things for them to prepare for,” Crawford said. “These guys have played against each other in the past and then there’s the Saxony/Perryville natural regional rivalry. There will be fireworks if we see them again and I hope we do so we can get another crack at them.”

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