Saturday, January 28, 2023

Zovko scores four as Hornets claim first win

After a season-opening tie followed by three straight losses, the Kirtland girls’ soccer team was heading into September without a win for the first time in over a decade.

Sophomore Maya Zovko came to the Hornets’ rescue on Thursday, the final day of August, by scoring all four of the team’s goals in a 4-0 win at Orange.

“We did need a win,” Zovko said. “I am so happy that we finally got one last night considering how much work this team has put into our game. We all were pretty happy and excited because of our performance and how we all clicked as a team. We still have some work to do, but I know after yesterday we know that we can beat teams and there will be many more wins coming soon.”

Jenna Sayle assisted on two of Zovko’s scores while Hannah Vouk and Kristi Bryll each had one assist.

Zovko notched her hat trick in the first half then added her fourth goal in the second half. The four goals in a single game are a personal best.

“The thing that was working so well for me was probably just me thinking ahead of what I am going to do if a certain situation occurred,” Zovko said. “My first two goals were me cutting in with pretty much a one-on-one with the keeper and both times she came out pretty far to step on me and when she did I was able to cut it and beat her and get a wide open finish.”

Gabby Culotta recorded two saves in the win.

Kirtland improved to 1-3-1 on the year with a Sept. 7 home game against West Geauga next on the docket.

Despite the slow start, the Hornets haven’t lost faith in each other.

“My team’s attitude has played a big part in the win yesterday and we all wanted it,” Zovko said. “We’ve been through some tough games recently where we may all get frustrated, but it is only bringing us closer.”

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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