Monday, December 5, 2022

Chagrin Falls, West Geauga advance to district championship games

Chagrin Falls and West Geauga both won their district semifinal games on Monday and advanced to play for a district championship on Thursday.

Kirtland and Wickliffe had their Division III district semifinal suspended due to darkness with the game tied, 0-0, after the first overtime. Play will resume at Kirtland Recreation Park on Tuesday at 3:00 p.m. with the second 15-minute overtime period.

Cuyahoga Heights and Hawken both had their seasons come to an end with losses in their district semifinals on Monday.

The Red Wolves lost to Andrews-Osborne Academy, 3-1, while the Hawks fell to Hoban, 10-1.

Defending Division II state champion Chagrin Falls topped host Aurora, 1-0, in a district semifinal.

“Any win that allows your team to keep playing in the playoffs is a good win, so we are very satisfied with the victory tonight,” said Chagrin Falls coach Joe Ciuni. “Even though we only scored one goal, we consistently created chances throughout the entire game. Our attack played very well and we were very dangerous throughout.”

Lindsay Burgess scored the lone goal of the game off of an assist from Bella Radomsky.

“We knew we wanted to attack the channels and try to get in behind the defense,” Ciuni said. “We then wanted to attack the goal and we knew that if we didn’t have a shot on goal the square pass to the back side would be open; that’s how our goal came about. With Aurora, we knew we had to limit their top player’s–Bailey McGee–chances to create. We did a good job of taking away her space, and if she was able to break free, we were great at limiting her options to find a teammate.”

Izzy Pribanic posted four saves in recording a clean sheet in goal.

The seventh-seeded Tigers, who improved to 9-4-5 on the year, will play No. 2 Bay in a district championship game on Thursday at a location to be determined.

Bay defeated Chagrin Falls in the regular season, 4-2.

“We know it’s now going to be much tougher to win and advance,” Ciuni said. “Bay is a very talented team, but we are ready to accept the challenge against them. We are not the same team we were three weeks ago and we are playing good soccer right now. We know we will have a chance to win if we work as a team and give it our all.”

Sixth-seeded West Geauga cruised to a 5-0 win at No. 4 Salem.

“I’m very proud of the win today against a great Salem team,” said West Geauga coach Kori Jesenovec. “Tournament time always brings out the best play and tonight we were able to capitalize on our chances.”

Frankee Flesher scored a pair of first-half goals and Courtney Whiting also found the back of the net off a Flesher assist in the first 40 as the Wolverines built a 3-0 lead. Zoe Cowles also recorded a first-half assist.

Flesher made it 4-0 with her third goal of the game in the 50th minute and Alyssa Mobley closed out the scoring in the final 10.

Adison Cook and Megan McGinness assisted on the second-half goals.

Ashlyn Drayer recorded 10 saves in recording the shutout.

“The key for us was playing as a unit and keeping possession,” Jesenovec said. “We were able to work the ball through our system and capitalize on our opportunities and chances.”

The Wolverines, who improved to 11-3-4, will play top-seeded West Branch on Thursday at Hubbard Memorial Stadium.

“Tournament time is all about taking each game as they came and respecting your opponents. We were laser-focused on Salem and now we have a couple of days to prepare for West Branch,” Jesenovec said. “These are the games these girls have been training for all year. I love to see how a season culminates during tournament time and I’m excited for these seniors to see what will continue to make them grow the remainder of this tournament.”

 

Steve Harehttp://www.ohiovarsity.com
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes OhioVarsity.com, 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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