HUDSON — It’s not uncommon for teams to have a nemesis.
The Browns have the Steelers. The Steelers have the Patriots.
In the case of the Hudson and Stow girls lacrosse teams, such an unfortunate situation exists for both squads.
For the Lady Explorers, their Achilles’ heel in recent years has been Massillon Jackson.
As for the Lady Bulldogs, the thorn in their side is none other than the blue and white colors of Hudson.
Sadly for Stow, the script didn’t change.
The Lady Explorers improved to 3-0 overall after posting a convincing 14-5 victory over the Lady Bulldogs Thursday at Bulldog Stadium.
It was Stow’s first loss of the season. The Lady Bulldogs dropped to 5-1 in 2018.
Hudson, which reached the state semifinals in 2016 and lost to —surprise — the Lady Polar Bears in a 2017 regional title match, has owned the Lady Bulldogs over the years.
Such a fact is a pleasing one for first-year head coach Sarra Qadri, whose Lady Explorers did everything right less than 24 hours after a hard-fought 8-6 win over Cleveland Heights on the road.
"Our draw controls were stronger," Qadri said. "The shot placement was great. We got inside the eight when we went for the shot.
"The transition looked good. We’re relying on our passing rather than taking the ball 60 yards down the field. It was very encouraging. We’re hoping we can do these things every game."
Once upon a time, Stow may have accepted being a placemat for its rivals to the north.
Not any more.
"We came into this game feeling really good," Lady Bulldogs head coach Mike Sheehan said. "I would not have imagined the score being what it was. It seemed like they had the ball much more on offense.
"Going into the game, I thought we were a sleek freight train going down the track. They forced us off the track and we couldn’t get back on."
Hudson, which led 9-1 at halftime, won 16 of the 21 faceoffs and had the ball on Stow’s end for much of the evening.
The Lady Bulldogs also had problems with infractions in front of their own goal. The Lady Explorers scored six free-position goals.
The main beneficiary of Hudson’s onslaught was Tyler Vidmar, who scored a match-high six goals.
"Tyler is so quick," Qadri said. "Once she gets the ball, she’s not afraid to take it in."
Maggie Palumbo also had a stellar evening with three goals and one assist.
Elizabeth Hinkle and Piper Trattner each had two goals and one assist for the Lady Explorers. Paige Palumbo also scored for Hudson and Kendall Paltani and Sarah Hinkle added one assist apiece.
Elizabeth Hinkle and Sarah Hinkle each scooped up four ground balls and Elizabeth Hinkle won 10 of 12 draws.
That kind of depth will certainly help the Lady Explorers if they want to make another deep postseason run.
"We have a deep midfield line," Qadri said. "I can move them constantly. Once they get tired, I can switch. For the most part, they have worked together."
Since Hudson, which had a 22-16 advantage in shots on goal and a commanding 25-5 edge in ground balls, controlled the pace, Stow’s defenders found themselves working much harder than they have the previous five matches.
"We knew our offense was our strong point and our defense was inexperienced," Sheehan said. "It sounds silly, but I thought we played well defensively. We just didn’t get the loose balls and the ground balls.
"For 50 minutes, they probably had the ball 35 minutes. When that happens, our defensive players get tired because they have to chase, chase and chase. Give Hudson credit. Their goalie stepped up and stopped a lot of goals."
Both Lady Explorers’ goalie Mackenzie Hornung and Lady Bulldogs’ goalie Luci Perez made several stops on point-blank shots. Hornung had 11 saves and Perez stopped eight shots.
Unfortunately for Perez, she was under fire much more than her counterpart.
Grace Deegan led Stow’s offense with three goals and Emma Workman and Erika Green had one goal apiece. Bayley Patterson added an assist for the Lady Bulldogs.
"Clare recently got her 100th career goal and Grace is close to 100," Sheehan said. "Bayley is a good offensive scorer as is Erika. We have a bunch of players who can score."
Stow has some time to regroup before taking the field again.
The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to entertain Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy Wednesday at 6 p.m.
They are set to visit Kenston April 19 in Bainbridge Township. Play is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Stow is set to compete at the Hannigan-Galipault Tournament April 21 at Thomas Worthington High School.
The Lady Bulldogs are scheduled to play Delaware Hayes and Olentangy.
Hudson, on the other hand, has little time to relax.
The Lady Explorers are set to host North Canton Hoover April 14 at Hudson Memorial Stadium. Play is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m.
They are set to entertain Rocky River Magnificat April 16 at 7 p.m.
And of course, Hudson has its most anticipated match thus far coming soon.
The Lady Explorers are scheduled to visit Robert Fife Stadium to face Jackson April 17 at 7:30 p.m.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.