Chagrin Falls used a quick goal to set the tone in its 7-2 win over visiting Aurora in a Division II sectional semifinal on Tuesday.
With the win, the Tigers advanced to the district championship game for the first time with the hopes of playing in the regional tournament for the first time since 2011.
“The team had a strong first half,” Chagrin Falls coach Brian McKenna said. “We got a goal two minutes in, which let them relax.”
The Tigers led 5-1 at halftime and quickly responded to an Aurora goal early in the second half to keep the Greenmen from generating any momentum.
“They came out and scored right away, but fortunately we responded,” McKenna said. “We got one more goal later. We have had terrific battles with Aurora over the years and know their success in the playoffs is well earned, so we were intent on staying focused.”
Jack Amendola recorded two goals and an assist for the Tigers while Zach Hoover scored twice and Griffin Lowe found the back of the net once. Aaron Passalacqua finished with one goal and five assists.
“Our four senior captains helped to lead us to this victory,” McKenna said. “Griffin Lowe helped to control the midfield while also putting a terrific goal in. Jack Amendola put two in and had a nice assist as well. Aaron Passalacqua assisted in the first four goals and had an outstanding goal. Zach Hoover put in the first two and still had a terrific night in the back defending.”
The Tigers, who improved to 15-2-1, will play Revere on Oct. 27 for the district championship. The Minutemen knocked the Tigers out of the 2017 playoffs with a 1-0 win in the district semifinals.
“With a large senior class, they all remember well the evening our season ended last year against Revere,” McKenna said. “We know that they have had another successful season and we need to bring our best for our season to continue. I have had the opportunity to see them play this year and can say they have some key players we will have to be aware of on the field.”
McKenna hopes his squad’s ability to play as a team will lead them deeper into the playoffs.
“I am really proud of how the players have been unselfish this season,” he said. “They are not worried about the stats and they are willing to do the extra to hopefully result in a successful postseason run.”