Monday, January 30, 2023

Independence edges Kirtland in battle of state-ranked teams

With the expansion of the Chagrin Valley Conference, Independence and Kirtland no longer compete against each other for league titles but the rivalry developed over the years remains strong.

On Thursday, the Blue Devils edged the visiting Hornets, 1-0, in a battle of two state-ranked teams who earned the No. 1 seed in their respective district tournaments.

“A little pride was on the line in this battle of No. 1 vs. No. 2 in Greater Cleveland,” Independence coach Ryan MacRaild said. “With Kirtland being ranked sixth in the state and us at 13, the boys wanted to make a statement.”

Brandon Patton scored the game’s only goal off an assist from Christian Streibel. Ethan Manelski recorded 12 saves, including one in the closing moments to preserve the victory.

The win extended Independence’s home win streak to 40 straight games. Their last loss on their home turf came on Aug. 19, 2016.

“We purposely played this game as a friendly tune-up for the playoffs and it was a good chance to go up against one of the better teams in Cleveland and get a challenge before playoffs start,” MacRaild said. “The boys had the home record on the line and wanting to finish the year on a high note; 68 career wins for the seniors is pretty impressive.”

Independence’s senior class improved to 68-5-3 in their four-year careers. The Blue Devils put that record on the line on Saturday when they close out the regular season against Youngstown Ursuline.

The Blue Devils have won three straight against the Hornets. The two teams battled to a 0-0 draw in 2016.

Kirtland dropped to 12-4 on the year.

“I’m proud of the fact that we live and die by our own ideas,” Kirtland coach John Valentic said. “We believe in building out of the back and not just booting it down the field. That philosophy comes with risks, it comes with mistakes. Tonight, a mistake cost us a goal and ultimately the game. I still would rather play our style than anyone else’s.”

The Hornets next play on Oct. 19 when they host the winner of the game between No. 8 Wellington and No. 9 Brooklyn in a sectional championship game.

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.

Related Articles

Stay Connected

789FansLike
3,439FollowersFollow
364SubscribersSubscribe

Latest Articles

Brooklyn student-athletes reach milestones

It was a good week for Brooklyn student-athletes Jaiden Basinger and Shariah Gailes as both reached significant milestones on the basketball court.

Perry, Cuyahoga Heights, Berkshire win CVC wrestling titles

After two days of grueling competition at the 2023 Chagrin Valley Conference wrestling championships, Perry, Cuyahoga Heights, and Berkshire claimed league titles.

2023 CVC Wrestling Championships Semifinal Pairings

The 2023 Chagrin Valley Conference Wrestling Championships began at Perry High School on Friday night and will continue on Saturday with the semifinals.

CVC Athletes of the Week

Athletes from 12 different schools have been named the Chagrin Valley Conference Athletes of the Week.

Kirtland back in title hunt after win over Berkshire

Kirtland is back in the hunt for the CVC Valley Division title after beating previously undefeated Berkshire on Wednesday, 53-40.