Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Kunevicius scores twice in Independence’s 6-1 win over Lutheran West

On Thursday, it was Wyatt Kunevicius’ turn to take the reins for the Independence boys’ soccer team.

Kunevicius scored two goals to lead the Blue Devils to a 6-1 win over visiting Lutheran West. With the win, Independence improved to 5-0-1.

“Every night it seems we have one player who takes there turn having a great night,” said Independence coach Ryan MacRaild. “Tonight was Wyatt Kunevicius’ night. He scored two goals with some great skill play, hard work and hustle. As a sophomore, Wyatt put a lot of time in the gym this summer and his strength and size has really become a great weapon for the team. It is a good counter balance to Kevin Mewhinney's speed up top.”

Mewhinney added a goal and an assist and Evan Collins, Drew Benos and Christian Seif also scored for the Blue Devils. Jared McCullough and Seif added assists.

Independence jumped out to a 3-0 lead before surrendering a goal to the Longhorns. The Blue Devils responded to close out the first half with a 4-1 lead.

“Lutheran West played a very aggressive brand of soccer that we had not seen this season,” MacRaild said. “(There were) a lot of slide tackles and physical play, which we needed to see in preparation for the next two weeks.”

The Blue Devils have now scored 42 goals in just six games while allowing just 10.

“This game was another good example of the team style of play we can create within a match. We look for open players, have patience with the ball and try to make the most of attacking opportunities,” MacRaild said. “Our defense played a solid match as well, allowing only one goal. They had an opportunity for a penalty on a hand ball in the box, but missed wide and kept the momentum in our favor.”

Tyler Korecko recorded one save in goal for the Blue Devils, who play at Cardinal on Tuesday then have two non-conference games against Columbia and Elyria Catholic the following week.

“This was a district game and I keep telling the boys that every game we win in the district gets us closer to home field advantage in the playoffs,” MacRaild said. “Not to mention keeping our unbeaten streak alive this season.”

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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