Things were a bit disjointed at times when Tallmadge girls soccer hosted Woodridge in the season opener for both teams.
However, in soccer, it's all about taking your chances. In that regard, Tallmadge did a much better job.
Tallmadge scored a 3-0 win over the Bulldogs Aug. 21 at Rossiaky Stadium. The Blue Devils' ability to finish scoring chances proved decisive.
Woodridge saw plenty of ball possession in the game, but it seemed to fizzle every time it approached Tallmadge's penalty box.
"We went a little more direct tonight," said Tallmadge coach Scott Williams. "That's kind of our game. If the other team wants to pass it around 40 or 50 yards out, that's fine. Once they come towards our box, we're going to close down the space."
Woodridge coach Jason Allenspach wasn't upset with his team's effort, but noted his young squad's biggest issue was easy to spot.
"Finishing in the final third," Allenspach said. "We're working on trying to be more creative as well. This was a great test for us. You've got to play good teams in order to get better."
Woodridge controlled the opening 10 minutes of the game, possessing the ball deep in the Blue Devil territory.
However, Tallmadge took the lead on virtually its first sustained attack of the game.
After Woodridge initially cleared a corner kick, Tallmadge midfielder Eryn Gebacz found forward Sammy Williams at the top of the box in the 16th minute.
Williams turned and lofted a shot over Woodridge goaltender Tyme Miller and into the net to make it 1-0.
"That was what she was trying to do," coach Williams said. "Some of the goaltenders aren't very tall and she's looking to get the shot up."
Miller finished with one save in the first half, as she was called to start after Woodridge starting goaltender Mary Bates suffered a knee injury in pre-game warm ups. Bates came into the game after halftime and finished with five saves in the second half.
Tallmadge finished with a 12-2 edge in shots on goal, including three shots which hit the post.
Tallmadge doubled its advantage in the 39th minute. Sammy Williams collected a pass in the box and the ball right into the path of senior Amanda Kilway. Kilway passed a low shot into the net, making it 2-0 at halftime.
Tallmadge put the game beyond reach in the 57th minute, thanks to a nice sequence of passes. Sammy Williams found herself some space at the top of the box and fed another nice pass, this time to sophomore Rochelle Haught.
Haught smashed a one-time shot past Bates to make it 3-0.
"That was a great sequence," coach Williams said. "Rochelle probably has the hardest shot on our team."
Woodridge kept working, but could not find a way through. Tallmadge goalie Lynn Tucci needed only two saves to preserve the shutout.
"We're still young in the experience category," Allenspach said. "It's only going to get better from here."
Woodridge was set to face Revere Aug. 23, but results were not available at press time. The Bulldogs will open County Division play at home Aug. 26 at 7 p.m. vs. Streetsboro.