STREETSBORO — There was time when Woodridge vs. Streetsboro girls soccer was not a competitive fixture. These days, when the two teams meet, there are major Portage Trail Conference Metro Division implications.
When the two squads met Tuesday under oppressive conditions at Quinn Field, it was a showcase of attacking soccer — and just how far the Rockets have come.
Three goals from freshmen led the Rockets to a 3-1 win over the Bulldogs. Streetsboro improved to 5-1, 2-0 in the Metro Division, while Woodridge dropped to 2-2, 1-1 in the division.
Rocket coach Ryan Willard called the contest "the most complete game we have played."
"We knew that we were the dominant team in the first half, but it didn’t mean anything if it was 0-0. They stuck with it," Willard said. "Woodridge did a good job taking away our outside play, but we were able to make adjustments."
Streetsboro finished with an 8-6 edge in shots on goal and a 5-3 edge in corner kicks and controlled much of the game in Woodridge’s end.
"They’re a complete team," Woodridge coach Jason Allenspach said of the Rockets. "Hats off to them. It was just five years ago when they were on the opposite end of the scale. I knew it was going to be a very tough game."
The contest was tied 0-0 at the half and Woodridge seemed to be gaining footing until Streetsboro struck in the 51st minute. Freshman Ella Deevers stole the ball, cut towards the Bulldogs’ box and hit a curling ball just beyond the reach of Woodridge goalie Caitlin Raid.
Allenspach said the shot looked like a video game goal and Deevers would double Streetsboro’s advantage 11 minutes later.
A well-placed corner kick from Streetsboro’s Krista Prasek bounced off Raid at full stretch and Deevers pounded the loose ball into the net.
"We have some very talented freshmen this year," Willard said. "Our freshmen filled in where we are weak better than I could have hoped."
With the heat sapping both teams, the game opened up in the last 15 minutes.
Woodridge gave itself a chance to get back in the game in the 72nd minute. A free kick from Maddie Karlo bounced in the box and Bulldog forward Megan Anderson headed it home.
However, Streetsboro sealed the game in the 76th minute as Deevers found freshman Emma Flick wide open on a crossing ball. Flick sprinted 40 yards, shed a Woodridge defender and put a high shot home to make it 3-1.
Raid finished with five saves, as did Streetsboro goalie Jessica Marason.
"We got a little tried defensively," Allenspach said. "We made some mistakes and you can’t do that against a team like that. I think we settled in after the first 20 minutes, but they just have so much skill."
Allenspach noted the Bulldogs will have "a week to think about it." After that week-long break, Woodridge will return to action next with the home games, hosting Cloverleaf next Tuesday at 7 p.m., Creston Norwayne Thursday at 7 p.m. and Marlington next Saturday at 1 p.m.