Canfield advances to final

The Cardinals defeated Salem 2-1 in the Division II district tournament.
SALEM -- Football, it has been said, is a game of inches. Soccer then, must be a game of centimeters.
Canfield scored two goals that just evaded the Salem goalkeeper and the Cardinals went on to post a 2-1 win in a Division II boys district semifinal game Monday at Reilly Stadium.
Niles, which defeated Ursuline 2-1, will play at Canfield (11-4-3) for the district title Thursday at 7 p.m.
Scoreless half: After a scoreless first half in which neither team mounted a consistent attack, the Cardinals scored both of their goals in the first five minutes of the second half then hung on for the win.
"We started to throw a little something different at them at the very beginning and it wasn't working out," Canfield first-year coach Phil Simone said.
"In the second half we went back to what we normally play [4-4-2]," he said. "I told the boys at halftime we have to concentrate and play 110 percent."
It seemed to be a different Canfield team that came out of the locker room than the one that went in at the break.
It appeared to attack better, and at the 36:40 mark the Salem defense broke down.
Canfield junior forward Mike Centorame sent a pass across the goal mouth that Salem goalie Jason Yeager lunged at. He nearly cleared the shot.
But, Canfield junior midfielder Scott Seiser was filling the lane from the left wing and then he took the pass in stride. Seiser scored his fourth goal of the season from 10 feet away for a 1-0 lead.
Pietro scores: Less than two minutes later, Canfield got its second goal on a 30-yard free kick by sophomore forward Matt Pietro, his 10th of the season.
"The last time I took a free kick they got a wall in quick and I couldn't shoot it past them," said Pietro. "So, this time I decided to try to catch them off guard so I shot it early and caught the goalie off guard and put it in the net."
His rapid kick hit the crossbar and shot down into the net for a 2-0 margin.
The Quakers (6-8-4) lost at Canfield 2-1 and the teams tied 3-3 at Salem during the regular season. However, in the tie Canfield led 3-1 with 10 minutes to go.
With the 2-0 lead, Canfield wasn't going to yield another late stalemate.
"We packed the box with 20 minutes and just played defense," Simone said. "We said we weren't going to let them score and tie the game. We packed the box and just kicked it long."
Salem goal: That sort of play gave Salem some chances, and at the 18:37 mark Quaker junior Curt Howells stole a pass and scored from about 23 yards out.
Canfield defenders, especially junior stopper Aaron Bestic, permitted some long volley shots by Salem but yielded few threatening attempts.
That defense was in great part responsible for shutting out Salem's Mike Palmer, who had 18 goals in the first 17 games.