Thursday, September 23, 2021

Hornets edge Pirates in key CVC showdown

Mario Rodin and Jeremy Lunka both scored goals in leading Kirtland to a 2-0 win at Perry on Tuesday.

With the win, the Hornets improved to 5-0-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division.

“Winning the close, competitive games means so much for the playoffs, especially for the younger players,” said Kirtland coach John Valentic. “We rely on a number of freshmen and sophomores and they need to learn how to compete and close out games. Fortunately, we’ve been on the positive end for several. All 20 players contributed on the field today. We needed each and every second from them to beat Perry.”

Rodin’s goal materialized when Peter Vukovic attempted to score off of a cross in front of the goal. His shot deflected off the Perry keeper but Rodin was there to finish it off.

“It feels great to help the team get another victory,” Rodin said of his team-leading fifth goal of the season. “I just want to contribute any way I can.”

Ante Bevanda set up Lunka’s goal with a through ball into the box.

Lunka recognized the Perry defender wasn’t in a position to make a play and made a quick cut then delivered a right-footed strike into the corner of the net for his third goal of the season.

“It’s always amazing to score for my team, especially leading to a win, but I could never do it without all of the talented players assisting and helping me become a better player,” Lunka said. “Honestly, I don’t focus on being a top goal scorer, only what’s best for my team.”

Kirtland hosts Chardon on Thursday while Perry will entertain Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin.

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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