Saturday, March 25, 2023

Chagrin Falls cruises into state semifinals

MACEDONIA—Chagrin Falls wouldn’t be denied a seventh appearance in the state semifinals.

The Tigers scored early and often in a 7-1 win over Chagrin Valley Conference rival West Geauga in a Division II regional championship game on Saturday at Nordonia High School.

“The performance was exceptional,” said Chagrin Falls co-coach Pamela Malone. “The things we have been working on all week came to fruition today. The defense held its own; it was awesome.”

Elana McGinnis and Sarah Burgess combined to score five goals for the Tigers.

Burgess got things going early as she scored in the second minute. Four minutes later, Kate Bartlett made it 2-0.

McGinnis scored her first goal of the game in the 14th minute and Burgess added her second a minute later that sent the Tigers into the break with a 4-0 lead.

“We definitely needed to get that first goal and shut them down early and we did that,” Burgess said.

The Tigers drew up a game plan and executed it to perfection.

“We wanted to be aggressive offensively from the start and we wanted to work the corners; that was the goal,” said co-head coach Joe Ciuni. “If we create some nice, easy score goals, just tap-ins on the back posts, that is what we were able to do.”

The Tigers added three more goals, all coming from Burgess or McGinnis in the second half.

West Geauga’s Megan McGinnis closed out the scoring.

“You don’t get to this point by chance,” said West Geauga coach Kori Jesenovec. “Chagrin came out here with a fire. I think every time they put a shot on net, they put it in the back of the net. We just weren’t able to find our rhythm or flow.”

Chagrin Falls advanced to the state semifinals where they will play another familiar opponent on Tuesday at Pat Catan Stadium in Strongsville.

The Tigers will play Rocky River, a 5-1 winner over Lima Shawnee in another regional championship game.

Rocky River defeated the Tigers in the regular season, 2-0.

Brian Papesch
Papesch, an Orange High School and Notre Dame College graduate and life-long Cleveland fan, has a passion for all sports. He is focused on delivering accurate, informative, and amazing information on Northeast Ohio's finest teams and athletes.

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