FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora -- In their last three games, the Greenmen girls soccer squad managed one win and two ties to stand 7-3-3, with three regular season games remaining.
The locals tied Avon Lake and Warren Howland 1-1 and beat Eastlake North 2-1.
AHS travels to Tall-madge tonight (Oct. 12) and hosts Copley on Oct. 13 in Suburban League games, and travels to Madison on Oct. 15. The Greenmen are 3-1 in the American Conference.
In a game that was expected to give the team a look at the tougher side of Division I competition, the Greenmen girls soccer team played a technical and athletic Avon Lake, the sixth best team in the Cleveland area.
The locals had a solid performance at both ends of the field, according to coach Jerry Shutway, as Aurora junior goal keeper Olivia Conces made 12 saves and the offense produced 25 attacks into the Avon Lake goal area.
"Although they got on the board first, we probably should have scored a couple of goals in the first half, but our efforts were a bit too far from the goal,"said Shutway.
Senior midfielder Courtney Wendel struck AHS's tying goal 3 minutes into the second half on a cross from senior Jenna Geier.
"It was a fantastic shot, and another example of the talent of Jenna who has been the standard bearer of our frontline players," said the coach.
Unfortunately, the Greenmen lost two key players to injuries -- sophomore defensive midfielder Sarah Nemeth with a severe bone bruise to her upper ankle and junior attacking midfielder Kaleen Girman with a mild concussion.
Both will be out of action for a few games, but Shutway said they are expected to make a full recovery.
EASTLAKE North scored first 12 minutes into the game, but Aurora came back a minute later on senior midfielder Emma Frankmann's shot from outside the penalty box. Geier assisted.
In the second half, sophomore forward Taylor Burick got on the end of a great pass from Frankmann to score the winning goal.
"Emma had a great night," said Shutway. "She was the engine in the midfield, producing a goal and an assist to lead us to victory."
The Howland match was a test of endurance and resilience as a stiff wind helped each team in opposite halves.
There was special fanfare for senior Kristen Lembo, who was unable to play all season because of a knee injury, but was cleared to play the first two minutes in goal.
"We also had all 10 seniors start the game and play most of the first 20 minutes without a substitution," said Shutway about the Sennior Night match.
Seniors included Michaela Haley, Deanna Sagaris, Geier, Wendel, Frankmann, Natalie Picone, Meghan Mihalik, Katie Gordon.
Wendel scored with one minute to go in the first half to give the home team the advantage.
"I knew we were going to be under extreme pressure in the second half because of the windy conditions that had favored us in the first half," said Shutway.
Howland's senior forward Na'pier Ramsey scored on a well placed shot to the upper corner of Aurora's goal with 17 minutes to go, but Aurora mounted a few late attacks that made for another exciting game.
"Gordon had a great game by taking charge in the back and keeping Howland from getting inside our penalty area," said Shutway. "She really has been doing a great job all season."