Saturday, June 15, 2024

Beachwood tops Kirtland, 2-1, to win district title

After a 2-1 win over Kirtland on Saturday, Beachwood coach Brian Greene is headed back to the regional soccer tournament.

Greene led the Bison to their first regional tournament as a player back in 1984 and now he coached the squad back to the Sweet Sixteen for just the third time in school history.

“It feels great,” said Greene, who is in his 19th year as head coach of the Bison. “It’s hard to beat the same team twice and they have some talented players on that team but our boys played a complete game.”

The Bison, who tied a school record with 13 wins, beat the Hornets, 6-1, on Sept. 30. Saturday’s district championship was much closer.

They did it with a patient offense and a defense that shut down Kirtland’s top scorers, Jordan Ianiro and Luke Sabbath, for the second straight game.

“We spread the ball around and the boys did what they were supposed to do, which was to play the ball wide and keep possession of the ball as much as possible,” Greene said. “I knew they were going to try and counterattack with Luke or Jordan.”

Shai Yulish gave the Bison an early 1-0 lead when he knocked in a cross from Junyoung Lee in the 18th minute. The goal increased Yulish’s single season scoring record to 30.

“Junyoung got the ball down the flank and beat the outside defender and crossed it to Shai and he knocked it in,” Greene said.

Max Babbush made it 2-0 in the 67th minute but the Hornets scored three minutes later when Ianiro converted a penalty kick.

“With about 10 minutes ago there was a penalty kick called against us,” Greene said. “The kid crossed the ball and the referee said that one of our guys handled it so they got a PK. That made it a little extra tentative because there was only about 10 minutes left.”

The Bison fought off Kirtland’s attack to close out the win.

“Soccer is a team game and my boys spread the field wide and they tried to overload a side and we kept finding the safety valves and played possession,” Greene said. “They did a great job.”

Beachwood will play Kinsman Badger (18-1-0) at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. Badger won the Kent District.

The Braves feature three players who have scored double digit goals this season including Joe Gorospe, who leads the team with 33 goals and 16 assists.

“We’re going to play our game no matter who we’re playing against,” Greene said. “I know they have some guys that have scored some goals and we’ve got to respect a team that has won 17 or 18 games this year. We’re just going to get after it and do our thing. My guys stack up well against anybody because we have a complete team.”


Steve Hare
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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