The Aurora boys soccer team hoped to gain some momentum heading into the postseason.
The host Greenmen earned a thrilling 3-2 victory over former Chagrin Valley Conference rival Kenston Thursday at Veterans Stadium. With the win, Aurora improved to 10-5-1. The Bombers dropped to 7-6-2.
Senior Will Baldwin scored five minutes into the match to give Aurora the lead.
"It was a blistering shot," Greenmen head coach Jason Bibza said.
Kenston tied the match one minute later on a goal by Timmy Shindika. The Bombers took a 2-1 lead in the 25th minute on a goal by Evan Iliev.
Let’s just say the soccer gods may have been on Iliev’s side when he scored.
Iliev had the golden opportunity after a previous shot hit the crossbar, bounced back in play and hit the back of Aurora senior goalkeeper Jacob French’s hands.
The ball wound up right on Iliev’s lap and he delivered from point-blank range.
But the Greenmen were just getting their second wind.
Aurora tied the match, thanks to perhaps, what could be a contagious connection that also worked against Twinsburg last Saturday.
Zach Geier cross the ball to Cooper Bizjak, who headed it into the net with five minutes left in the first half. Geier also fed the ball to Bizjak’s head for a goal against the Tigers.
In the second half, the Greenmen unleashed a relentless offensive attack. As a result, they got what turned out to be the game-winning goal four minutes after halftime.
Ryan Fritinger delivered and Aurora’s defense, particularly French, preserved the win the rest of the way.
"Jacob French kept the Greenmen victory alive with some spectacular saves in the net," Bibza said. "This was the best I have seen Jacob. He made some truly phenomenal saves to seal the win for us.
French finished with 14 saves.