Heather Patacca scored her first goal of the season to lead Independence to a 1-0 win over visiting Riverside on Saturday.
Patacca finished off a Molly Dougherty corner kick with two minutes left in the first half to give the Blue Devils a slight advantage heading into halftime. Independence held off the Beavers in the second half.
“It was a huge momentum swing and gave us a lift for the second half,” said Independence coach Bryan Less. “Reni (Kaiser) made many solid saves in the net, showing again her solid play.”
Kaiser finished with 13 saves.
The win was the second in a row for the Blue Devils, who improved to 3-2 after beating rival Cuyahoga Heights, 1-0, on Thursday.
“It was a hot day and our third game in five days, so the intensity was not there in the first half,” Less said. “We definitely played harder in the second half and closed the game very strongly. The ball stayed completely on our offensive half the last four minutes.”
Playing with a lead inspired the Blue Devils to raise their intensity but having Riccela DiGeronimo back in the lineup also lifted their spirits.
“Molly put in a great effort at center mid on a hot day,” Less said. “Paige (Westerburg) and Riccela are getting better at forward combinations after Riccela missed most of the past three weeks. I was proud of the way the girls gritted out the victory.”
Independence travels to Cardinal on Thursday.