Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Late goal lifts Berkshire to win at Cardinal

MIDDLEFIELD—Sam Roach’s breakaway goal was the difference in Berkshire’s 1-0 non-conference win at Cardinal on Saturday.

Roach stole possession and outran the Cardinal defense to break the scoreless tie with 12:21 left in the game.

“Sometimes that’s all it takes is one good opportunity,” said Berkshire first-year coach Nick Fejedelem. “We had a good breakaway opportunity and I was happy to see him execute and finish it.”

Until that point, the Badgers held a slight edge in possession and shots on goal.

Both teams played with just one sub so it came as no surprise that the decisive goal would be scored late in the second half as fatigue set in.

“I saw the opportunity to get the ball so I figured why not the best time to go 100-percent the rest of the way,” Roach said. “I got kind of beat up going down the line a couple of times so I figured I just had to get past them and once I got past them I could score it. I was able to put it in the right corner of the goal.”

Cardinal nearly tied the game when freshman Dominick DeCaro launched a shot that bounced off the left post with 5:27 left to play.

Finishing in clutch situations is something the young Huskies will need to figure out as they continue their careers at Cardinal.

“To Sam’s credit from Berkshire, he’s a senior and he’s their leader. He stepped up and made a play when he had to and that’s what seniors do,” said Cardinal coach Mike Topalian. “That’s what our guys will have to do in the next couple of years. We were down on possession near their goal and we lost our formation. The mids didn’t talk to the fullbacks and a fullback got caught up too close and Sam is just too quick. He just outran our guy.”

Berkshire’s Ben Wasson recorded the second shutout for the Badgers this season.

“He plays hard all game long,” Fejedelem said. “He understands the game.”

Cardinal senior Austin Miller was effective despite the late goal.

“He’s really one of the better goalies in the area,” Topalian said. “He’s tall, lanky and quick. The last couple of games, especially against Independence, he made some amazing saves. He’s a player.”

The Badgers and Huskies will meet again at Berkshire on Oct. 2. That game will count in the Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division standings.

Steve Hare
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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