JFK falls to red hot United, 4-1
WARREN — The chilly temperatures brought a hot team to Warren on Thursday when the Golden Eagles of United took on JFK.
United (11-1-2) is currently ranked 12th in the state in Division III boys soccer and they handled Kennedy 4-1.
“United is a very good team,” JFK coach Anthony Ledenko said. “They’re ranked, and they obviously showed why.
“We played them tough last year, but it wasn’t our day today. They’re a talented, hungry team.”
It was a physical battle early on. JFK junior goalie Nico Ciminero made a diving stop, but United went ahead 1-0 on a penalty kick by junior Matthew Logan after a hand-ball went against Kennedy.
United made it 2-0 when sophomore Maddox Andrea put it into the back of the net after the ball ricocheted off of the side of the goal.
“It was a hard fought match,” Andrea said. “It was physical. Our defenders played phenomenal.”
The United defense kept JFK off of the scoreboard in the first half. Riley Littler almost bent one in from long range and Michael Condoleon just missed a penalty kick.
Nick Ryan also nearly scored on a header, but the score remained 2-0 at the break.
JFK is now 10-3-1 on the season with an undefeated 6-0 record in conference play.
“It’s been a great year,” Ledenko said. “We like to play good teams. We have three games left in the regular season. This was a wellness check today.”
Things continued to go well for United in the second half. The Golden Eagles scored less than 3 minutes after the half started and again 30 seconds later to make it 4-0.
“This was a good test for us today,” said United senior Grant Irwin. “It’ll help to get us ready for the postseason. We want to go further than we’ve ever gone before.”
United has been on a roll in recent seasons with their best finish being a trip to the regional semifinals after a district title in 2017. They’ve shut down opponents this year by surrendering a total of 4 goals in 14 games.
“We’ve had eleven shutouts this season,” United coach Curtis Jones said. “We talk about having clean sheets. A shutout isn’t all about the goalie. It’s about everybody out there. This was only the fourth goal that we’ve allowed all season.”
Jones doesn’t really care about the state rankings.
“I don’t pay too much attention to it,” he said. “The kids care about it and that’s okay. They want to move up in the rankings.
“We have four guys that have scored double-digit goals this season. I’m proud of them.”