Monday, September 26, 2022

West Geauga upends Kirtland in battle of state-ranked teams

KIRTLAND—Thursday’s matchup between the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division’s top teams proved to be everything it was billed to be.

Visiting West Geauga scored two late goals to defeat host Kirtland, 3-2, and take over control of first place in the standings.

“One heck of a result against a great program and a great coach,” West Geauga coach Kori Jesenovec said. “I’m proud of the grit and determination the girls came out to play with in the second half. They have their goals for this season and I’m proud they are chasing after them.”

The Wolverines, ranked No. 11 in the latest Division II state poll and No. 2 in the News-Herald Top of the Crop, trailed 1-0 after Kirtland’s Aria Evans-Roskos headed in a cross from Maya Zovko.

Nicola Ehrbar tied the match with 1:59 left in the first half when her shot from distance took a fortuitous bounce over Kirtland keeper Corinne Aquila’s outstretched arms and spun backward into the net after hitting the ground.

The Hornets, ranked No. 2 in the Division III state poll and No. 1 in the Top of the Crop, regained the lead four minutes into the second half when Lidia Rodin’s shot from the left flank deflected off the hands of West Geauga keeper Ashlyn Drayer and to Zovko, whose powerful strike ended up in the left corner of the net.

Kirtland’s lead held until Frankee Flesher scored on an Ehrbar corner kick with 10:25 left in the game. Flesher’s second goal came six minutes later.

With the win, West Geauga improved to 10-1 overall and 4-0 in league play. The Wolverines clinched at least a share of the CVC Chagrin Division title and needs a win over Hawken on Sept. 26 to win the title outright.

Kirtland dropped to 9-2, 3-1.

“Several years back we choose to play in the Chagrin Division for days like today,” Kirtland coach Ed Bradac said. “We will learn more from this loss than we would from a one-sided win. Today had the feel of tournament soccer and that will only make us better in the end.”

Corinne Aquila finished with 11 saves for the Hornets.

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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