Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Kirtland hands Cuyahoga Heights first loss

KIRTLAND—Kirtland celebrated Senior Night with a 3-0 win over previously undefeated Cuyahoga Heights on Wednesday at Walter A. Rogers Field.

Hannah Vouk, Claire Neibecker and Grace Powers all scored goals for the Hornets, who improved to 10-2-2.

“I told the girls coming in they need to be mentally ready,” said Kirtland coach Ed Bradac. “Tonight, being Senior Night and having the youth program at halftime, I was worried. To their credit, being 10 seniors, they’ve been here before. They played a great game and pulled it all together in that second half.”

Vouk scored midway through the first half when she collected a pass from Neibecker and beat the keeper in a one-on-one situation. The goal was the sixth of the season for Vouk, who leads the team with nine assists.

“Hannah is someone that we want to shoot anytime she wants,” Bradac said. “She’s so unselfish. We need her to be selfish and she is not, which is a great attribute to the whole team, but at times we need her to be. She was in the right place at the right time. That’s the second time she scored a goal like that. She scored a goal like that to tie the game against Manchester. She was on a full sprint and same thing here; she was on a full sprint and just touches it in.”

That score held up until Neibecker tapped in a long throw in from Katie Straus 11 minutes into the second half.

“Claire was great,” Bradac said. “We talked about the three things we want to do and one of those three things was a long throw in and attack that back post. Claire was there to get a nice goal. She just tapped it in. It was huge because it loosens everything up and we were able to get that third goal.”

Neibecker now has two goals and four assists on the year.

Powers, who had a near miss in the first half and had another goal waved off late in the second half, picked up a pass from Vouk and dribbled into the right corner where she launched her shot into the upper left part of the net.

“She struck a ball like that in the first half and it doesn’t go in but she was able to strike that in the second half and it went in,” Bradac said.

Cuyahoga Heights dropped to 13-1-2 on the year.

The Hornets travel to Rootstown on Thursday then close out the regular season with a home game against Lake Catholic on Oct. 13. 


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.

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