Rally falls short

Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Eisenhower’s Darien Glotz dribbles between two Titusville defenders during their match at Eisenhower High School, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. Glotz had a goal for the Knights, but the Rockets came away with a 4-2 victory.

Eisenhower’s boys soccer team tried to rally from a slow start, but the Knights had dug too deep a hole as they dropped a 4-2 decision to visiting Titusville Wednesday.

“We started flat,” Eisenhower coach Todd Venman said.

The Rockets struck for three goals in the first half. Alex Los opened the scoring with a goal at 16:00. A corner kick six minutes later doubled the lead.

The initial corner kick was denied, but the rebound went straight to Luke Pratt’s waiting foot. Pratt pushed it past keeper Nick Smelko on the far side.

The third goal came off a direct free kick. The ball was initially going in the direction of the left post, a Rocket was able to head the ball toward the right post where it found another Titusville player who headed it in top shelf for a 3-0 lead at 28:55.

Times Observer photo by Brian Hagberg Eisenhower’s Kelly Glotz jumps after pushing the ball back in play during a match against Titusville at Eisenhower High School, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017. The Knights attempted to rally, but fell to the Rockets, 4-2.

In addition to the goals, Titusville dominated possession time through 40 minutes.

“We were really lackluster in the first half,” Venman said.

Things changed quickly in the second half. Kelly Glotz got the ball on the left side at 7:20. He shot far side, but Titusville keeper James Titus was able to get a hand on it. The rebound went out to Ian Goldthwaite who just missed a yawning net mouth with a shot over the crossbar.

The Knights had another pair of quality chances just two minutes later. Goldthwaite had a breakaway attempt saved by a diving Titus. The rebound went out below the goal line, earning the Knights a corner kick. Titus was again up to the challenge as he snared the shot on the corner to preserve the 3-0 lead.

The Rockets used the momentum from the big saves to pad the lead just a minute later. Cade Skinner took a centering pass and pushed it short side past Smelko to make it 4-0 Titusville at 50:31.

The Knights were finally able to solve Titus at 56:23. Kelly Glotz sent a pass over to his brother, Darien Glotz, who put a shot near side to the left post. Titus was able to get a hand on it, but he pushed the ball into the post and in, making it 4-1.

“It was great to see the two brothers working together,” Venman said. “That was a beautiful Glotz moment.”

Titus recovered from the goal to make another pair of outstanding saves a minute later, one a diving stop and the other where he stopped the initial shot, lost the ball and was able to grab it back again before it crossed the line.

“You’ve just got to keep poking at it,” Venman said of trying to solve the keeper.

Goldthwaite was able to cut the lead in half at 74:33. He broke free down the left side and tucked the ball in the near post to close out the scoring.

“He didn’t quit,” Venman said of the play. “It was just a matter of muscling through the ball.”

The Knights travel to North East Saturday.