MACEDONIA — Hudson girls soccer’s position among the elite programs in Northeast Ohio is well-established.
Needless to say, the Explorers are a measuring stick for younger programs like Nordonia — and the result Sept. 6 showed the Knights have a long way to go.
Nordonia played well in the first half, but seemed to wilt in the second as Hudson pumped in six goals after the half to win 8-0 at Boliantz Stadium in Macedonia.
Hudson improved to 5-1, 2-0 in the Suburban League National Conference, while Nordonia dropped to 2-4, 0-2 in the National Conference.
Hudson was coming off a 3-1 win over Olmsted Falls Sept. 2 at home. The Explorers got goals from Jordan Manley, Lucy Marshall and Mia Becker in the win, while goaltender Lilly Morgan finished with four saves.
Hudson coach Chris Gentille had been critical of his team’s finishing in previous games, but that was not an issue against the Knights.
"We did a good job in the second half possessing the ball," Gentille said. "The field was slick, so it was hard to get your first touch. Finishing was a lot better in the second half. Tonight was one of those night we needed to have after playing all those close games."
Nordonia coach Les Gieci noted Hudson played well, but wanted to see more effort from his squad.
"Once we get down a few goals, we tend to fall back," Gicei said. "That’s been the game for us all season.
"We feel we have decent talent and their were a few girls who played hard for the whole game tonight," he added. "We want to play hard across the board with all our players. For some reason, that hasn’t happened so far this year for us."
Nordonia was pressing the action off the opening kickoff, but Hudson capitalized on an early mistake.
In a race to the ball at the top of the box, Nordonia goaltender Lyndsey Beatty was forced into a bad clearance. Marshall collected the loose ball and hit a shot into the open net, making it 1-0 in the third minute
The Knights did a decent job of defending set pieces in the first half, but Hudson got its second goal in the 18th minute when the Knights were unable to clear a corner kick.
Nordonia headed away the initial corner kick from Hudson’s Elena Vuksta, but the ball eventually came back to Vuksta on the right wing. Vuksta sent a high angle shot beyond the reach of Nordonia goaltender Lyndsey Beatty to make it 2-0.
The Knights were still within shouting distance at halftime, thanks to Beatty and the defense. Beatty finished with seven shots on the night, while backup Sheyli Wetzel registered saves in 15 minutes of the work in the second half.
The floodgates opened on the Knights in the second half, beginning with another beautiful shot from Vuksta. She smashed a high ball home just below the crossbar, making it 3-0 in the 44th minute.
In the 48th minute, Manley pounced on a defensive mistake by Nordonia, ran in on the net and beat Beatty in a one-on-one situation to make it 4-0.
Hudson defender Cali Stuursma got into the act in the 56th minute. After a corner kick was cleared away, Stuursma sent a low laser into the corner of the net from 35 yards out.
Hudson’s depth showed as Gentille emptied his bench with about 20 minutes left, only to see the intensity of the Explorers attack increase.
Off a free kick in the 73rd minute, Marshall fired a pinpoint shot into the low right corner of the net.
Hudson then earned a penalty kick in the 75th minute, which Anna Campanella converted by placing it in the lower left corner of the net.
Finally, Malloree Weber completed the rout by scoring with three seconds left on the clock.
Hudson finished with a 21-0 edge in shots on goal.
Hudson faces a pair of tests this week when its hosts Copley Sept. 9 and travels to North Royalton Sept. 12. Kickoff for both games is at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, Nordonia hits the road this week, travelling to Firestone Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. and Stow-Munroe Falls Sept. 13 at 7 p.m.