Consistency has been elusive for the Stow-Munroe Falls boys soccer team all season.

Youth, constant injuries to starting players and inexperience will do that to any team.

There have been flashes of solid play for the Bulldogs, however, and another instance of that came this week.

Playing against a Brecksville-Broadview Heights team that is deep, physical and loaded with veterans, Stow gutted out a 0-0 draw with the Bees Oct. 3 at Bulldog Stadium.

Stow moved to 4-8-1, 2-3-1 in the Suburban League National Conference as of press time. Brecksville moved to 8-2-3, 3-1-2 in the National Conference.

It was only the third shutout of the season for the Bulldogs and the team's first draw of the season.

"It was our best defensive effort of the year," said Stow coach Kyle Kosmala, noting the Bulldogs switched senior Hayden Baer to left back for the first time vs. the Bees. "He's going to stay back there. He liked it and he did some good things. This was the first time we were able to use him for 80 minutes."

"As a mathteacher, it's good to know we have a lot of different options that we can use out there on the field," he added.

Kosmala said Stow did a solid job on offense against a very tall Bees defense.

"At the end of the game, we were pressing them hard," Kosmala said. "[Senior] Leandros Tosko got by them twice.

"He got two nice balls on switches and was able to get in on net. One time, he put the ball wide. The second time, their keeper made a nice save. That was in the last three minutes."

Kosmala said the Bulldogs were a bit unlucky in front of the net, as senior Frano Katalinic had a shot hit off the post on a corner kick early in the game.

"There are some times that we don't get too many good looks," Kosmala said. "Against Brecksville, we got some good looks. We just couldn't put the ball away. We were pretty aggressive in front of net."

Brecksville finished with a slight edge in shots on goal (6-4) and corner kicks (5-4).

Stow goaltender Spencer Raymond-Smith finished with six saves, while Bees goalkeeper Jake Shaheen had four saves.

Kosmala said his team's primary job is to build from the back in the remaining games.

"We at least slowed down Brecksville's attack," Kosmala said. "We need to eliminate the scoring and then concentrate on our attack. We're focusing on the playoffs now."

Stow was set to play a make-up game with North Canton Hoover Oct. 6, but results weren't available at press time.

The Bulldogs face a challenging final week to the regular season, traveling to North Royalton Oct. 11 before hosting Copley Oct. 13 at 7 p.m.


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