Saturday, September 30, 2023

Huskies record two hat tricks in win over Bristol

MIDDLEFIELD—Cardinal recorded a pair of first-half hat tricks in a 9-0 win over visiting Bristol in a Division III sectional semifinal on Tuesday.

Alex Hutchinson scored four first-half goals and Jacob Revak added three in the first 40 minutes to give the Huskies a seven-goal lead at halftime.

“It was a nice win,” said Cardinal coach Mike Topalian. “I’m really happy for the seniors. Obviously, this is going to be their last home game and I thought the seniors set the tone. It was a really important night for them.”

Revak, who now has 20 goals on the season, struck first just two minutes into the game when he slid into the box to finish off an assist from Hutchinson.

Hutchinson made it 2-0 nine minutes later and Revak followed up that goal with his second just one minute later to make it 3-0. Hutchinson added two more goals and Revak finished off one to build Cardinal’s 7-0 halftime advantage.

“Alex and Jake, they played really well,” Topalian said. “They were poised. All their touches made sense and they found each other. We’ve struggled with our shots this year being on the mark, but in the first half, obviously, they made them count. They came out smoking.”

Hutchinson now has scored 12 goals this fall.

Nathan Dhayer added a goal with 10:32 left in the game and Connor Sodee scored his first goal of the season with 49 seconds remaining.

Brian Westover, Dhayer and Sodee all had assists in the win.

Bristol entered the game with one of the top goal scorers in Northeast Ohio in Darion Durst, who scored 22 goals this season.

The Huskies effectively shut down Durst and the rest of the Panthers to record their eighth clean sheet of the year.

“I’m so proud of the defense,” Topalian said. “Their No. 3 looked like he got shot out of a cannon all night. That may be the fastest kid I’ve seen all year. Jacob Lequyea tailed him all night. He got in a couple of shots but for the most part Jake was all over him and the fullbacks held the line. That’s eight shutouts this season; that’s a big turnaround for us.”

Cardinal improved to 10-6-1 on the year and will play in a sectional championship game on Saturday at Kirtland.

The Hornets, a regional finalist last season, defeated the Huskies 3-0 back on Sept. 26.

“Lucky reward, right?” Topalian said. “John (Valentic) is a great coach and they obviously have a great team. They were regional finalists last year so we will have our hands full 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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