FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- This year's Greenmen girls soccer team is hoping to make its mark, and the squad has gotten off to a 3-1 start.
The Greenmen's victories were 3-1 over Shaker Heights, 15-2 over Kent Roosevelt and 2-1 over Willoughby South, while the loss was to Chagrin Falls 2-1.
The Kent match last week was the squad's first in Suburban League play.
Taylor Burick capitalized early, scoring a goal with 12:54 in the first half with an assist from Nicole Doemling. Later in the first half, Jenna Geier drove down the left side and scored, against with Doemling getting the assist.
With 2:58 left in the half, Abbey Byard delivered a pass to set up Sami Richards, who got the locals' third goal.
After a Kent goal in the second half, Geier drove down the left side, setting up Burick for her second goal of the game, then Burick managed her third goal.
Near the end of the first half, a Kent player collided with AHS goalie Michaela Haley, sending her from the game.
According to coach Jerry Shutway, the game was very physical with few penalties called.
Also last week against Willoughby South, Burick kicked off the scoring with her fifth goal of the season on a pass from Geier.
In the 18th minute, Willoughby South got on the board on a free kick about 30 yards from Aurora's goal.
It didn't take Aurora long to bounce back with another goal two minutes later by Doemling.
There was no more scoring in the second half, although Aurora did muster a few good chances that were saved by the Rebel defense.
GETTING IN on the scoring against Shaker Heights the week before were Kaleen Girman, Burick and Geier.
Girman's goal came from a corner kick play the girls had been working on the previous week. Assisting were Deanna Sagaris and co-captain Gina Zamary.
The Greenmen's second goal was the result of Burick's pursuit of a pass through the middle of the defense, and she headed the ball into the goal with an assist from Geier.
The second half allowed Shutway to rest some of his starters. "It was important to give our bench players opportunities to make their mark and see who can fill different roles down the road," he said.
Aurora's final goal came in the final minute when Geier made the keeper come off her line and placed her shot inside the far post, with an assist from Burick.
Two days later, AHS lost to Chagrin Falls 2-0.
"Chagrin has always been a tough game for us," said Shutway. "They did a good job of limiting the time and space we had to work with, and ultimately it caused us a lot of trouble to produce the kind of opportunities we had in our first game."
Chagrin's Brooke Weitzel scored in the 23rd minute of the first half. The Tigers got their final goal with just 17 seconds left in the game.
"Our girls tried to apply the same ideas that worked in the Shaker Heights game, but the Chagrin defense was very organized and prevented us from capitalizing on the passes we made behind their defense," said the coach.
"We tried to change our tactics going into the second half, but just couldn't find the right combinations to get chances at their goal."
This week finds the Greenmen traveling to Barberton tonight (Sept. 7) and West Geauga on Sept. 10.