Friday, September 22, 2023

Henderson’s late goal lifts Blue Devils past Redskins

Despite outshooting visiting Cuyahoga Heights 25-8, Independence scored just one goal in a 1-0 win over the Redskins on Alumni Field at Stan Skoczen Stadium on Thursday.

Ashley Henderson scored off a cross by Jen Wisniewski with just over five minutes remaining in the game.

“Jen had a great cross and Henderson put it in. It was beautiful,” said Independence head coach Bryan Less. “The girls did what they had to do to win. We outshot them 25-8. Unfortunately 24 of those shots were right at the keeper.”

With the win, the Blue Devils improved to 3-5-2 overall and 2-1 in Chagrin Valley Conference play.

The first half saw both teams have their chances to take control of the game. The Blue Devils owned the second half.

“I think our chances in the first half were better,” Less said. “Our fitness and speed and passing really took over in the second half. They were playing it long and trying to get past us. We just took it over. We probably had 12 corners.”

Wisniewski had several close calls but couldn’t find the net either time.

“Jen just missed two headers,” Less said. “One went just past the goalie and the other went over the crossbar.”

Sophomore Krista DeFini saved five shots to record her third shutout of the season.

She was one of four sophomores that made a big impact for the Blue Devils.

“Four sophomores really played well,” Less said. “Krista had a couple saves where she came out and made nice stops and Ashley Henderson had the goal. Daniela Radujkovic did a nice job being really aggressive and Julia Gutermuth at outside mid was dynamite today. They all really stepped up and played well tonight.”

Independence hosts Valley Forge on Saturday.

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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