GIRLS SOCCER Hubbard can't find way to beat West Geauga
The Eagles out-shot West Geauga 14-6 in the second half and 20-12 for the game but still lost 2-0.
By BRIAN RICHESSON
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
KENT -- Don't blame the Hubbard High girls soccer team for not being fond of Chesterland West Geauga.
The Eagles were eliminated the last two seasons by West Geauga in the Division II regional semifinals, including a 2-0 defeat Wednesday at Kent Roosevelt High.
Of Hubbard's three losses this season, two were to West Geauga, the other coming 3-2 in the opener.
So, who does Hubbard (16-3-1) open with next season? You guessed it.
Strong competition: "They're all good games. What the heck?" said Hubbard coach Dennis Smith, when asked if he's getting tired of seeing West Geauga (12-5-3). "That's what you're playing better competition for -- you try to get your team a little better."
The only two goals scored Wednesday came in a 10-minute span of the first half. Junior Carrie Lacava scored with 30 minutes, 59 seconds remaining in the first half, while senior Jaimie Frankino added the second at 30:03.
"Two mistakes," Smith said. "We had a little letdown, and [West Geauga] took advantage of it well."
Although Hubbard struggled to mount any offensive rhythm in the first half, it was able to finish strong. The Eagles out-shot West Geauga 14-6 in the second half -- 20-12 for the game -- but weren't able to score.
"They basically dominated the second half," West Geauga coach Moe Brown said of the Eagles. "They beat us to most of the balls at midfield, but they didn't score. The last 10 or 15 minutes, I think they ran out of gas."
Close: Probably two of the Eagles' best chances came midway through the second half. One shot hit the netting on top of West Geagua's goal, while a corner kick by junior Anna DeJulio nearly resulted in another.
"All I did at halftime was tell them to go out and play hard, and they did," Smith said.
Brown said of Hubbard, "They're a very strong, hard-nosed team."
The Eagles also had a number of attacks nullified by offside violations.
"At least they're thinking offensively," Smith said of his players.
Smith had no regrets about the season even if his team has yet to solve West Geauga, which advanced to face Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit in the regional final.
"We were district champs. What more can you ask for?" he said. "We're a young team. We'll be back."