Monday, January 30, 2023

Tigers cruise to district semifinals

Top-seeded Chagrin Falls showed no rust in playing its first game in a week. The Tigers defeated No. 9 Mogadore Field 4-0 in a sectional championship game on Saturday.

“Although we had a scrimmage on Tuesday, it was nice to get back on the field,” Chagrin Falls coach Brian McKenna said. “The players kept their focus on this game and had a nice week of practices leading up to it.”

Aaron Passalacqua opened the scoring with a strike from distance off an assist from J.T. Marting. For a one-on-one showdown with the Field keeper.

Amendola won that battle and the Tigers led at halftime, 2-0, despite an outstanding effort from the Field keeper.

“The team moved the ball around well throughout the game,” McKenna said. “They remained patient.
Jack’s patience got the keeper to commit and a moment later Jack was able to direct the ball in.”

Zach Hoover scored off a Passalacqua assist and Sam Dolan finished off a Passalacqua corner to close out the scoring.

With the win, the Tigers will host No. 4 Aurora in a district semifinal on Tuesday.

Chagrin Falls beat Aurora back on Aug. 25, 6-1.

“Although we beat Aurora at the beginning of the season, they were missing key players in the lineup,” McKenna said. “Coach (Jason) Bibza does an excellent job of improving the Greenmen over the season. He also knows our squad well, so we are sure they will have an excellent game plan. We expect a great game.”

Despite entering the district as the top seed, Chagrin Falls isn’t overlooking any opponent.

“We have a large senior class that has had made strides throughout the season,” McKenna said. “We are taking the postseason one game at a time. We know that we are in one of the toughest districts in the state, if not the toughest, with three teams ranked in the top 10. Our focus is on Aurora now and hope for the opportunity to play again.”

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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