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Boardman cannot overcome Howland in AAC Red battle

BOARDMAN – The boys soccer match between Howland and host Boardman on Thursday night had big implications in the Red Tier of the All-American Conference.

Howland made a pair of first-half goals en route to a 3-0 victory over the Spartans.

The Tigers (11-0-1) won the previous meeting 3-1.

“We knew we were coming into a tough match tonight,” Howland coach Brian Stiles said. “I think Boardman was coming off a 7-0 win over Canfield, so we knew they would have a lot of confidence. Our goalkeeper (Lucas Brill) really bailed us out there early until we could get our footing, so I’m really proud of the game he had tonight.”

Christian Cano scored in the 22nd minute to open the scoring and Pasquale Caranante added the second goal in the 26th minute.

Kameron Kramp tallied the final goal midway through the second half.

Boardman fell to 6-5-1.

Spartans coach Eric Simione felt that missed opportunities early hurt his team.

“We had a chance to be up 3-0, and never recovered from those missed opportunities,” he said.

Cano thought his team was energized by his early goal.

“It energized us a lot, but that goal doesn’t happen without the 10 guys playing next to me,” he said. “We all play extremely hard and we all play for each other. That’s the reason why I was able to put it in.

“The first goal is always important to get a flow going. That really built a lot of confidence in the team and we kinda set off and started getting our own pace and learning their defense and how to attack them better.”

Brill has been a big part of Howlandás success, and he credits his defense for helping him out.

“It feels great, but I wouldn’t able to do it without my back line,” Brill said. “They play amazing.

“We work hard every day at practice, and it just feels great to beat such a great team (Boardman), a team that we usually donát come on top against.”

It was Boardman’s ninth-annual cancer fundraiser event, and the team wore black, long-sleeve jerseys with “Boardman Soccer” written in pink with the breast cancer ribbon replacing the letter “Aã”in Boardman.

Originally, the team donated the proceeds from the match to the American Cancer Society, but since then the team has found a local resident who receives the donations.

This season, the beneficiary is Colleen Ridel Valdez, who is undergoing treatment. She is the aunt of Boardman goalkeeper Spencer Smith.

For Simione, coming together as a community is important.

“We wish her the best, and you know, really anybody that’s dealing with that,” Simione said. “When I spoke before the game, personally, it’s been 30 years now since I lost my grandmother that way, and a number of other family members since.

“It’s something that, we’re not the doctors, we’re not scientists that are going cure it, but we have to come together as a community when we can, and help people in that situation. We’re happy to do that. Once we figure out how everything went this evening, we’ll make sure Spencer’s aunt is taken care of in any way that we can.”

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