Rangers Advance in OHSAA Tournament
The LHS boys soccer team defeated Lincoln West 6-0 Saturday night at Garfield Middle School in an OHSAA Tournament game. Malvin Gblah and Jack Hueter each had a pair of goals, and Brennan Foran had a goal and two assists. Lakewood will next play Wednesday night at North Royalton in the district semi-final.
Lakewood earned a bye in the first round of the tournament due to its strong 11-4-1 regular season record. Lincoln West, champions of the Cleveland Senate League, defeated Garfield Heights 8-1 in a first round game to earn the trip to Lakewood. The Wolverines have traditionally been a soccer power in the Senate, attracting a blend of players from numerous soccer cultures around the world.
Lincoln West played well in the opening minutes, going toe-to-toe with the favored Rangers. Lakewood had a couple of good shots in the first 20 minutes, but the Wolverines were able to keep them off the scoreboard. The Rangers kept working, and it finally paid off with 19:03 left in the first half. Junior Malvin Gblah broke the ice with a left footed goal from senior Abdi Mayingwa. Lakewood led 1-0, and the scoring faucet had been turned "on". Two minutes later Gblah struck again, this time with an assist from senior Brennan Foran. Ninety seconds later junior Jack Hueter scored the third Ranger goal from an assist by Attila Nagy. Senior Hehgway Ler and Foran each added another goal in the final three minutes of the first half, building a huge 5-0 halftime lead. Hueter added another goal in the 48th minute to make the final score 6-0. Lakewood was able to use many reserve players in the second half to complete the win. Starting goalkeeper George Hericks had two saves in the game, while Timothy Daso had one.
The Rangers move on to face North Royalton in a road game on Wednesday evening at 7pm. North Royalton earned the #2 seed in the district with a 11-1-4 record. The Bears defeated Parma 3-0 on Saturday night to advance. On the other side of the district bracket, St. Edward defeated Normandy 3-1 and St. Ignatius defeated Valley Forge 11-0. The Eagles and Wildcats will face off Wednesday night at St. Ignatius, and the winner of that game will face the Lakewood/North Royalton winner next Saturday.
Mike Deneen has extensive experience covering sports and community stories for the Lakewood Observer. Mike has been a Senior Industry Analyst for the Freedonia Group in Cleveland, Ohio, since 1998. He has appeared on CNBC’s Closing Bell, NPR’s MarketPlace and has been quoted multiple times in The Wall Street Journal. He has made multiple guest appearances on ESPN Cleveland radio. Mike also writes for Inside Northwestern, a website that covers Northwestern Wildcat Athletics. You can reach him on Twitter at @MikeDeneen1