Freshman Erika Zschuppe scored two second-half goals to lead Kirtland to a 3-1 win at host West Geauga in a Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division showdown on Thursday.
West Geauga led 1-0 at halftime before Zschuppe scored twice in the first 20 minutes of the second half to give the Hornets their first lead. Jenna Sayle added a late goal to close out the scoring and the win.
“We had a conversation at halftime and I told them if we’re going to give up a goal that was a good time because it gives us 75 minutes to fight back,” said Kirtland coach Ed Bradac. “I don’t think there was any panic in their faces. They were just made they gave up the goal and they felt as if we had the better flow and possession and they were right, they did.”
Jenna Hoeh scored off a Nicola Ehrbar assist within the first five minutes of the game to give West Geauga an early 1-0 lead.
That held until Zschuppe scored her seventh goal of the season off a Lauren Lutz pass to tie the contest.
“Lauren played a beautiful ball and Erika was able to split the defense,” Bradac said. “The keeper came out a little bit and she touched it past her and tapped it in for the goal.”
Zschuppe’s eighth goal came five minutes later on a free kick.
Lidia Rodin set up Sayle’s goal with a perfectly placed corner kick.
“Jenna was at the right place at the right time,” Bradac said. “She elevated and put the ball in the back of the net.”
With the win, the Hornets improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Chagrin Division but that win didn’t come easily.
“We gave them three things at halftime,” Bradac said. “We wanted to keep it simple and we pointed out that from my point of view we were leaving too many girls unmarked and we also mentioned that West Geauga does a great job of moving from sideline to sideline. We were just chasing instead of shifting and we adjusted to that.”
Corrine Aquila recorded just one save in the win but it was a big one.
“She made a beautiful save to keep the game 2-1 in our favor,” Bradac said. “It was a gorgeous save. She came up huge on that save. The ball was headed in and she tipped it right at the last second.”
West Geauga dropped to 3-2-1 overall and 2-1 in league play.