Dukes fall in soccer playoffs

Published 11:19 am Wednesday, May 30, 2012

By Titus Mohler/Correspondent

WINDSOR—The Windsor Dukes lost 2-0 to Nandua on Tuesday in the Region A Soccer Tournament, bringing a disappointing end to what their coach called a “phenomenal” year.

The game was scoreless until Nandua managed to put the ball in the net 57 minutes into the game. Duke goalkeeper Blake Allen knocked the ball away more than once during a flurry of action in the box, but Nandua eventually worked it in.

Windsor head coach Matt Burgess spoke to the deciding frame.

“That second half,” he said. “I mean, it looked good in the first half. Nandua was playing great. We felt like we were being competitive with them in that second half. Once that first goal sunk in, it just took the wind out of our sails. Just couldn’t get anything going.”

Nandua added to the lead with a few minutes remaining. Burgess gave the opponent credit.

“They’re a great team,” he said. “Every year they come out, they’ve got an awesome team. I can’t remember the past couple years. I don’t think we’ve ever beaten them.”

There were a surprising number of penalties called due to the physical play of both teams, and many of the calls went against Nandua.

“They were very aggressive,” Burgess said. “Well, I can’t just say their players; our players were being aggressive too. I mean, it’s a win-or-go-home game, so I can’t really blame either side for wanting it” badly.

Allen had 16 saves, and Ryan Brant led the Dukes with eight shots while Mackenzie Hopko-Turner had seven.

This loss continued what has been unfortunate tradition for Windsor High School. For at least the last seven years, the Dukes have gotten to the regional tournament and lost in the first game.

Burgess said the loss that ends the season is always a particularly difficult one to swallow.

“Not continuing on …, it’s hard,” he said, “but the kids had a great season, otherwise.”

Windsor finished with a record of 15-2.

“It’s a great record,” Burgess said. “Last year, we ended up with a losing record, but 15-2 is phenomenal.”

Burgess commended the players who had just played their last game as a Duke.

“All my seniors,” he said. “They’ve all done a great job, and they’ll be very sorely missed.”

The Dukes were the 2012 Tri-Rivers District champions.