Thursday, September 16, 2021

Kirtland falls in state final

COLUMBUS—Kirtland’s first trip to the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s Division III state championship game effectively ended when Summit Country Day’s Colleen McIlvenna scored just three minutes into the game.

Ravin Alexander scored a minute later and the Silver Knights added two more goals to beat the Hornets, 4-0, at MAPFRE Stadium on Friday.

“We played one of the best teams in the state of Ohio, regardless of division,” said Kirtland coach Ed Bradac. “We knew we had to almost play mistake-free soccer, so to give up two goals in the first five minutes was not the way we wanted to start.”

The state title was the third for Summit Country Day in five state championship game appearances since 2011.

Kirtland reached the state final for the first time in school history but did reach the Final Four in 2015.

“I think if you look at successful programs throughout the state, it takes that tipping point or one moment to get you over the top,” Bradac said. “For us, that was in 2015 and you can see what the result of that has been. We just again knocked over another barrier for us to get to the final. I don’t think that we now settle for anything less than that goal each year.”

Several Kirtland seniors were members of that 2015 team that won the district title for the first time in school history and went on to also collect the school’s first regional title.

Those seniors did their part to add to the Kirtland girls’ soccer legacy.

“The best picture I took after the game was with the alumni that were there, the girls that have played for me going all the way back to when we started the program in 2003 and all the way to 2015,” Bradac said. “Hannah Vouk, Maggie Kadas, Gabby Culotta, and I can list all nine of the seniors, they’ll continue that and that amazing group of alumni will grow.”

The Hornets closed out the season with a record of 15-5-3 and a burning desire to return to MAPFRE Stadium next fall.

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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