WEBSTER — Sometimes, soccer is just a matter of being in the right place at the right time. That was exactly the case for Webster Schroeder forward Morgan Kpor on Wednesday night, as he headed a rebound past Penfield goalkeeper Mitch Standera with 4:34 remaining to give the Warriors (4-0) a 2-1 win.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Kpor said. “I feel so excited. I did it for the team.”
Kpor’s opportunity came when teammate Matt McArthur sent in a cross to Jorge Amperez, whose shot appeared to cross the goal line before being cleared out to Kpor, who sailed a header past Standera.
The senior said it was a matter of listening to coach Dave Urbanski, who warned him about being too aggressive toward the goal at times.
“Coach told me, ‘You’ve got to stay back sometimes; everybody can’t just go in,’ so I’m like, ‘I’m just going to stay back,’” Kpor said. “I just saw the ball, and I just headed it because I knew if I was going to head it downward a lot of people were there, so I just tried to head it as far as possible in the air, and that’s what I did.”
Schroeder opened the scoring in the game’s fourth minute, when Eric Strauchen headed home a corner kick from Nick Fuss.
Penfield responded 21 minutes later, when Glenn Roschetzky beat Schroeder goalkeeper Szymon Labecki high off a rebound after Chris Sergeant’s shot hit the post. Urbanski said the Patriots outplayed his team for most of the first half.
“I thought the first 10 minutes we played excellent … but we let up quickly after that,” he said. “(Penfield) started sticking on tackles, talking a little bit more, and I think it psyched us out a little bit.”
Schroeder created several opportunities in the second half, but Standera turned aside four shots until Kpor’s winner.
Urbanski said he was proud of how his team regained control in the second half.
“You’re going to be in dogfights, and I want to see how they respond when things aren’t going right,” he said. “These guys don’t ever quit. They fight, fight, fight.”
Strauchen’s goal was his sixth of the season, equaling his total from last year and putting him atop the Monroe County leaderboard.
The senior forward said the Warriors’ halftime adjustments helped them get back into the offensive rhythm that had led to nine goals during their first three games.
“People weren’t trying; coach was letting into us a little that we had to fight harder, talk more, and we started to click in the second half,” Strauchen said. “We’re getting good movement, everybody’s making good passes, and we’re moving along well.”
Standera made six saves for Penfield. The Patriots fell to 0-3-1 in their first year under coach John Cotsonas, who replaced John Butterworth after 28 seasons that included three state championships and 11 Section 5 titles.
Urbanski said beating Penfield is always special.
“It’s still a little bit different without John Butterworth at the helm, but Penfield is Penfield,” he said. “Traditionally, they play fantastic defense and they’re disciplined all over the field, so any victory against them you savor.”