Lakewood Rangers Boys Soccer Hold Own Against Area Top Teams
At press time, Lakewood’s Boys Varsity Soccer’s last four opponents collective record stood at 25 wins, 6 losses and 5 ties. Unfortunately for the Rangers, 3 of those wins and only 1 of those losses were courtesy of Lakewood. The 1 win and 3 loss stretch brought Lakewood’s overall record to 6-4-1 and 2-1-1 in West Shore Conference play. Each of the four contests were hotly contested and were closer than the scores may have indicated.
Lakewood 0, St. Edward Eagles 1
The Rangers gave the undefeated Eagles all they could handle but came up short when Mikey Bowden slammed home a rebound off the goalkeeper with only 17 minutes left in the match. The goal scored by St. Edward broke a string of 185 minutes spanning the last 2 and 1/2 games where neither team found the net. Over the last 3 games, only 4 total goals have been scored (2 for Lakewood, 2 for St. Edward). The records for both teams over those 3 games are 1 win, 1 loss, 1 tie. The programs are obviously very competitive. With the win, St. Edward gains back control of the Lakewood City Trophy for the first time since 2009.
Lakewood 1, Normandy Invaders 3
Maybe it was the emotions and physicality of the previous game vs. St. Edward or maybe it is just supposed to happen, but the match against Normandy was not indicative of Lakewood style soccer. After jumping to 1-0 early lead in the 2nd minute thanks to an Edvin Rosic goal off an assist from Senior Mirsad Curri, the Rangers lost their shape and thus control of the game. Normandy countered with a tying goal midway through the first half and thereafter controlled much of the tempo of the match. While the Rangers found a way to keep the ball out of the net thanks to some outstanding goalkeeping by Senior Zach Fehrenbach, the Invaders pressure finally broke through with two very late goals to seize the victory.
Lakewood 2, Elyria Catholic Panthers 1
Score early and score late was clearly the theme in this hotly contested conference matchup with the Division III state-ranked Elyria Catholic Panthers. Junior Edvin Rosic and Mirsad Curri provided a repeat of their early magic from the prior game when Rosic slammed a shot past the goalkeeper after Curri kept the ball alive with some nifty footwork near the goal mouth. Despite a number of scoring chances for the Rangers, the score remained at 1-0 until Elyria Catholic knotted things with a goal 14 minutes into the 2nd half. The final 26 minutes of the contest saw both teams fall short on scoring opportunities and just when both teams’ loyal fans were preparing for a draw, Junior Jameson Foran fed Mirsad Curri, who penetrated deep into the Panthers right goal area. With just 48 ticks left on the scoreboard clock, Curri sent a hard shot across the goal mouth that found the left foot of Aaron Donahoe who was charging hard on the goal from the left side. Donahoe punched it past the overmatched Panther goalie and an important conference victory was the Ranger prize.
Lakewood 0, Brecksville Bees 3
The score in no way depicted the competitiveness of this match between the Rangers and the undefeated Brecksville Bees. While Brecksville opened with a score early, the Rangers fought back and displayed great team play and individual skills as they traded quality possessions with the Bees. The pace of play was at a high pitch and the Rangers worked to offset the superior speed of the Bees players with their own hustle and guile. Strong performances were turned in by varsity newcomers junior Alain Mika, sophomore Marcel Dunay and freshman Alex Rosul. Despite the outstanding effort sometimes the soccer ball has a mind of its own. In the waning minutes of the contest, after a corner kick by the Bees, a fortuitous bounce of the ball paid off as a deflection landed at the feet of the Bees Eric Zambory who deftly slipped it to a wide open Aaron Shutway who drove it home for the game clinching goal.
Four very strong matches for the competitive Ranger team against four of the better teams in Northeast Ohio. The Lakewood Rangers Boys Varsity Soccer team now will now gear up for more West Shore Conference play against Midview (9/26 Away) and new rival Rocky River (Oct. 3 Home).