Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Gilmour holds off Kirtland

GATES MILLS—Kirtland’s struggles against Gilmour Academy continued on Thursday as the Hornets dropped a 2-1 decision to the host Lancers.

Gilmour jumped out to a 2-0 lead before the Grace Powers got the Hornets on the board late in the second half.

“We did not play a good first half,” said Kirtland coach Ed Bradac. “We played a good first 10 minutes and then we did not play well for 30 minutes. It was 1-0 at halftime but it easily could have been 2-0 or 3-0.”

Senior keeper Maddie Zuberer kept the Hornets in the game with several first half saves. She ended the game with 10.

“Mo does another amazing job along with the defense in the back,” Bradac said. “Phenomenal. I think she likes coming here. I don’t know if anybody else likes coming here but I think she has some of her best games here. We haven’t really given her the result I think she deserves, and I say that for the whole defense. She’s just solid.”

The Hornets regrouped at halftime.

“We told them, ‘This was no longer so much about soccer. This is about you as a team, as heart, because you are getting beat to every 50-50 ball. You’re not moving off of passes and you’re playing somewhat panicked. You’re not trapping. You’re not playing the type of soccer I think you’re capable of playing.’ I challenged them at halftime and to their credit I felt like for that second half we outplayed them.”

Bradac also made a change to his lineup.

He shifted Kerri Zalba to the midfield to create more scoring opportunities. It paid off when Powers finished off her direct kick with 7:35 left in the game.

“We didn’t have enough possession at the midfield so we made one subtle change, which was to play Kerri more inside,” Bradac said. “Kerri is a senior and she’s comfortable on the ball and we have that luxury to move her to the back or the midfield. I thought she calmed everyone down and did a nice job.”

In Kirtland’s 0-0 tie at Geneva, Powers tended to fall back to play defense. At Gilmour, she stayed on point and scored Kirtland’s first goal against the Lancers since a 3-1 loss in 2010.

“We talked to Grace the other day at Geneva. She had herself in position, but her thought was to go back and play defense, which we encouraged her to stay in that spot,” Bradac said. “If she stays in that spot against Geneva there’s a chance that she’s’ able to get a touch on the ball for a goal. This time she stayed in position and finishes. She hasn’t scored in a couple of games so for her that should be huge confidence for her against a state-ranked, Division III team.”

The Hornets are now 0-11-2 against the Lancers dating back to the 2007 season.

Kirtland, which dropped to 6-2-1 on the year, plays at Cardinal Mooney on Sept. 29 then hosts Chagrin Falls on Oct. 1.

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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