In soccer, in sports, sometimes the better team does not win. Tonight, despite a valiant second half effort, Avon Lake fell 1-0 to visiting Avon in a pivotal SWC conference match. The first half of the first half was relatively even as both Avon and Avon Lake found chances.
Seven minutes into the game Avon found some space in front of the Shoremen back line and hit a shot that looked destined to find the net but freshman Zach Glesius managed to parry it away.Avon Lake had a chance a few minutes later as a diagonal ball from junior Derek Stepak was fumbled by Avon’s keeper under pressure from senior Cam Salco, but he was able to recover just before Salco could pounce.
Junior Danny Lambert was played into space and turned on the after jets to beat his defender and break in on goal. Unfortunately his final touch got away from him just enough for their keeper to snag it.Avon would find the next chance and bury it, in the 25th minute, as one of their center midfielders made a run to the top of the box and found space to take a composed first touch and then finish to Glesius’ right side.
Undaunted, the Shoremen came right back at the Eagles and nearly found the equalizer just two minutes later after senior Joey Caputo played a long diagonal ball into the box that junior Drew Del Giudice was able to get a head on, but his header went wide.
Later, senior Andrew Jacobson was able to pick up the ball at half field and made a winding run that managed to penetrate the Eagles defense, but his driven cross from the end line was caught by the keeper.
The second half was when the Shoremen kicked the pressure up a notch. From the opening to the final whistle Avon Lake took up residence in the Avon half of the field. Aside from a few chances, Avon mostly looked to clear the ball or send hopeful balls over the top that Avon Lake was able to recover.
In the 45th minute sophomore Cullen Reutter played a ball over the top in the middle that senior Edison Lemanowicz ran onto, but a last ditch effort from an Eagle defender poked the ball loose before Lemanowicz could take his shot.
Three minutes later Lemanowicz generated another chance as he found himself isolated on the Eagle’s center back and used a nifty move to beat him and drive a shot hard to the near post. But the Avon keeper made a solid save, and held on to the blast. Lemanowicz found the ball in the box again shortly after but this time was caught between two defenders and knocked over, but with no call given.
Avon’s defense was able to bend but not break and in the 62nd minute almost found themselves up 2-0. After gaining possession in Avon Lake’s half for one of the few times in the half, number 11 was able to find both the ball and space and hit another strike that looked like a sure goal, but Glesius made a full extension diving save to prevent a two goal deficit.
With 8 minutes to play a ball into the box from Caputo again found Lemanowicz’s head but his flicked header attempt bounced wide to the left of the goal.
As the clocked ticked down Avon Lake continued to throw the ball forward but were unable to break through. Under two minutes to play the Shoremen had two golden chances, either of which could have leveled the score.
First, another long ball into the box was met by Lemanowicz’s head, but this one was looped high and wide across the goal box, beating the keeper. Only an amazing effort from an Eagle defender running towards and then into his own goal to head the ball up and over could keep the Shoremen off the score sheet.
On the ensuing corner kick Avon Lake had another opportunity but the Avon keeper was again up to the challenge. At this point all 11 Avon players were behind the ball, parking the bus and trying to hold on.
The final opportunity for the Shoremen came with 30 seconds to go as Stepak put a free kick from inside midfield right to the Avon penalty spot but despite a number of Avon Lake players running in, none was able to connect solidly and the ball trickled wide.
The early game was a competitive slugfest as well, as the JV Shoremen and Eagles played to a 0-0 stalemate.
Avon Lake is back in action on Wednesday August 29th away at SWC foe Westlake. Games at 5 and 7pm.
Content for article provided to NEOSI by Avon Lake VNN Network.