Monday, February 6, 2023

Blue Devils top Lake Ridge for third straight win

An early goal from Lake Ridge Academy turned out to be the spark for Independence as the Blue Devils went on to score three unanswered goals in a 3-1 win over their hosts.

The win was the third straight for the Blue Devils who improved to 3-4-1 overall.

“Although the girls didn't play a great match, they gutted out the victory,” said Independence coach Bryan Less. “Right after we gave up the goal, Julia (Gutermuth) made a nice pass to Molly (Dougherty), who scored from about 25 yards. Our first half energy was low, though, so I reminded the girls that this team beat us 3-0 last year, and it was time for some revenge. We are better than last year and even earlier this season, so it was time to show these teams that.”

Dougherty, Ashley Henderson and Marisa Silvestro all scored goals for the Blue Devils.

“Marisa scored on a hustle play where she rebounded a deflected shot,” Less said. “Ashley then put the game away with a PK with two minutes left.”

Henderson, who missed most of the season recovering from an injury, has been productive in the five games she has played this season and she sees the team improving on a game by game basis.

“Our offense is starting to click and work more efficiently together,” she said. “We're learning to get the ball wide and cross it in.”

Krista DeFini and Reni Kaiser both recorded two saves in the net for Independence.

Grace Heldwein played her best game of the year at outside defender and Jasmine Harb also showed her guts by playing all 80 minutes at central defender, despite being pretty sick,” Less said. “I love the attitude she showed by just being there the whole time.”

Independence hosts rival Cuyahoga Heights on Thursday.

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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