Monday, September 26, 2022

Aidja scores two in West Geauga win over Geneva

CHESTERLAND—Mo Aidja scored a pair of goals to lead West Geauga to a 3-1 win over visiting Geneva on Thursday.

The win was the third straight for the Wolverines.

“I’m always happy when we win, whether it is by one goal or two goals or three goals,” West Geauga coach Mario Gerhardt said.

Geneva had the first chance of the match when Dawson Schafer dribbled past the West Geauga defense. Wolverine defender Billy Onderdonk blocked the shot on the goal line in the fourth minute.

Later, West Geauga forward Dave Beattie was brought down in the box by a Geneva defender after trying to run past him in the box. Beattie stepped up for the penalty, however, he put his chance wide left to keep the score level.

“We got lucky they missed a penalty,” Geneva coach Jeff Hull said.

The Wolverines continued to develop chances through neat combination play from Beattie and Aidja, who finally opened the scoring from close range after a long-range effort was saved by Geneva goalkeeper Joey Carley, but Aidja was able to convert in the 32nd minute.

“That’s what we’re supposed to do,” Aidja said on converting from rebounds.

West Geauga put the ball in the goal again in the 36th minute off a Beattie free kick, but it was ruled offside and the score remained 1-0 at halftime.

In the first two minutes of the second half, West Geauga doubled its lead, again through Aidja. A ball over the top found the striker in stride and his volley flew past Carley.

Minutes later, the Wolverines took a 3-0 lead thanks to Nick D’Alessandro, who received a pass and finished it off into the top left corner of the goal.

“The last goal by Nick was amazing,” Aidja said.

Geneva’s Jay Santiago came off the bench and made the most of his playing time by scoring Geneva’s only goal in the 64th minute.

“Our heads were down after we went down 3-0, and then we scored a goal and everyone seemed to have a change of momentum,” Geneva captain Dawson Schafer said.

That goal was a byproduct of Geneva’s playing style.

“They play very direct, obviously running full speed on goal and when you run full speed on goal, you can score goals,” Gerhardt said. “That’s what happened.”

West Geauga had chances to grab a fourth goal, with Carley grabbing two saves in the last five minutes to keep the score at 3-1.

West Geauga, who improved to 4-1 overall, travels to Harvey on Sept. 5, the first of four straight road games after playing three straight at home.

Playing away from home allows the Wolverines to focus only on the game.

“You don’t have all the pre-work and stuff,” Gerhardt said. “We just climb on the bus and climb off.”

Geneva, who fell to 2-2, travels to Chagrin Falls on Sept. 4.

Despite the loss, the Eagles take away many positives from the game against the Wolverines.

“I’d just like to have those first four minutes back at the start of the second half,” Hull said.

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”33″ gal_title=”SOC: West Geauga 3, Geneva 1″]

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, 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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