The final week of the regular season started well for the Stow-Munroe Falls boys soccer team.

The Bulldogs travelled to North Royalton Oct. 11 and came back with a 1-1 draw against the Bears.

"It was our best game of the season," said Stow coach Kyle Kosmala. "They've got 10 wins this season, but we really played well."

Stow took the lead in the 18th minute, as Corey Hunt launched a free kick from more than 30 yards out that found the upper corner of the net.

North Royalton tied the game in the 36th minute when senior Bryce Zeleznik scored.

Stow kept things even from there, despite the Bears having a 6-3 edge in shots on goal and a 7-5 edge in corner kicks. Spencer Raymond-Smith had five saves in the tie.

With the tie, Stow finished at 2-3-2 in the Suburban League National Conference.

On Oct. 13, however, Stow played host to one of the best programs in the state in Copley.

The Indians showed their pedigree by scoring a 6-0 win at Bulldog Stadium.

With the loss, Stow closed out the regular season with a record of 4-9-3.

Kosmala said Stow simply was outclassed by the Indians.

"We could not match their team speed, for sure," Kosmala said. "They pass the ball extremely well. Anytime you put those two things together, it's pretty dangerous."

Kosmala said he would have liked to have seen the Bulldogs get a bit more physical in the contest to try and break open the Indians' press defense.

The Indians controlled the game from the outset, finishing with a 16-0 edge in shots on goal and a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.

Forward Vinny Worner got a hat trick for the Indians, while Christian Harter, Jarret Mattel and Evan Malpass each scored one goal.

Raymond-Smith finished with five saves, as did senior Stow goalkeeper Andrew Herring, who enter the game at halftime.

Kosmala noted he had as close to his best team on the field as he had all season against the Indians. He hoped to finally be able to field his best 11 players for the start of the playoffs.

Speaking of the playoffs, Stow was given the No. 7 seed in the Division I Kent district tournament at the draw meeting Oct. 9.

As a result, Stow will open the postseason by hosting 10th-seeded Kent Roosevelt Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at Bulldogs Stadium.

"The guys are excited to play Kent in the first round," Kosmala said.

If victorious, Stow would play at third-seeded Brecksville-Broadview Heights Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. in a sectional final game.


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