WADSWORTH: It wasn’t the kind of game Revere soccer coach Sandor Jakab expected.
It probably wasn’t the kind of game most anyone expected.
Just don’t count the Canfield boys in that grouping.
Revere’s boys used a second-half penalty kick as an impetus and added an insurance goal with less than four minutes to play on Wednesday to earn a 2-0 victory in a rugged Division II regional semifinal game at Art Wright Stadium.
The victory keeps the Minutemen undefeated and sends them to Saturday’s regional championship game against University School at Nordonia.
Revere, ranked first in the state and 24th in the country in two coaches polls, dominated the match for the most part but could not penetrate Canfield’s defensive play until senior Brandon Taylor was awarded a penalty kick when he was inadvertently tripped in the penalty box with 32:41 to play.
However, it was a drastic turnaround from an earlier meeting when the Minutemen waltzed, 6-1.
“No, it wasn’t what I expected,” said Jakab, in his 27th season. “But give Canfield credit. We knew they would pack it in and we knew what we had to do to win, but we weren’t able to do it.”
Senior Brian Gillette added the cushion with 3:47 left, beating a defender down low and picking up his 10th goal of the season.
Taylor picked the lower left corner as his target on the penalty kick and Canfield goalie Jeff Joseph, who played an exceptional game otherwise, had no chance. It was Taylor’s eighth goal of the year.
“We were a little frustrated in the first half and we changed our strategy, attacking from the sides instead of right down the middle,” said Taylor, a three-year letterman. “Going to the left was just something I was comfortable with. I don’t always go that way.”
The goal was enough to keep Revere (18-0-2) on track for a return to the state semifinals for the third time in the past four years. The Minutemen were state runner-up in 2010 and 2011.
The game was physical. Canfield lost three players to injury and three yellow cards were issued.
“I thought the PK call was a little disappointing,” Canfield coach Phil Simone said. “Especially since there were a lot of hard fouls in the middle of the field that weren’t called.”
Jakab did not start leading scorers Jordan Marich and Daniel Branch and was forced to use them more than anticipated.
“They’re a little dinged up,” he said. “No disrespect to Canfield.”
A Revere walk in the park was not the case this time around, even though the Minutemen controlled play throughout. They directed one-way traffic for the most part but Canfield (11-6-3) did a nice job of defending, frequently dropping seven and eight defenders into the box.
“We’ve seen that a lot this season,” said Jakab, whose team had a 14-2 edge in shots on goal and an 8-4 advantage in corner kicks. Revere goalie Joel Gerberich was credited with just one save to nine for Joseph, a converted field player.
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