Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Defensive-minded Huskies top Lions

MIDDLEFIELD—Cardinal’s young soccer team continues to show improvement and on Saturday the Huskies pitched their first shutout in a 4-0 win over visiting St. Martin De Porres.

Erin Ross, Alex Hutchinson, Jacob Revak (2) and Eric Scott scored goals for the Huskies and Austin Miller recorded the first blank sheet in his short career in the net for the Huskies.

“So far, so good,” said Cardinal coach Mike Topalian. “We’re still a real young team, real inexperienced. Our confidence still needs to get there but it's all going to start with defense.”

Ross gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead in the first half and Hutchinson made it 2-0 with 26 minutes left in the second. Seven minutes later, Revak scored a pair of goals in a span of 1 minute, 32 seconds.

Scott closed out the scoring.

“I've been happy with some of our juniors who played last year. They’re distributing the ball really well and talking more than last year,” Topalian said. “Kids are following shots, which is terrific. They're trying to make their own opportunities.”

As good as Cardinal’s offense has been in scoring 11 goals in its first two games, Topalian is more excited by the development of his defense.

The Huskies allowed two goals in its season opener at Berkshire, one in the first 16 seconds of the game and the other on a penalty kick.

“You saw last year we had some rough outings but we're preaching defense,” Topalian said. “There are a lot of kids that have some good ball skills but if you're not playing good defense you're not going to get far in the (Chagrin Valley Conference).”

Cardinal hosts Cuyahoga Heights on Tuesday in its second league game of the season. Topalian knows the challenge for his young team intensifies with each game.

“Being such a young team it's all about confidence,” he said. “We got better last year but the record didn't show it. There are just such quality teams in the CVC that we play but it's going well. We'll take it.”


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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