KENT — The Hudson girls soccer team experienced a little bit of a slump in recent weeks.

Theodore Roosevelt, on the other hand, had been playing its best soccer of the season.

The Lady Rough Riders certainly didn't fall apart against their Sububan League crossover rivals.

But they were still no match for the Lady Explorers.

Hudson improved to 9-2-1 after posting a 4-0 victory over Roosevelt Saturday evening at Stanton Stadium in Kent.

The Lady Rough Riders, who recently had a four-game winning streak, dropped to 6-5-1.

The Lady Explorers, who suffered a difficult loss to Massillon Jackson and then had an uninspiring win against Cuyahoga Falls, have picked it up considerably in their last two games.

Hudson got a crucial conference win over Stow-Munroe Falls Wednesday and then dominated possession against Roosevelt.

"I thought we played well," Lady Explorers head coach Chris Gentille said. "It was one of our best games of the year. We wanted to get out wide and then play the ball to the middle. It was a really good performance."

The Lady Rough Riders had a few breakaways. But Roosevelt's attacking players had very little room to operate as Hudson had just about everyone shadowing the Lady Rough Riders' every move.

"That was, by far, the best team we've played," first year Roosevelt head coach Jerry Shutway said. "Not only do they [the Lady Explorers] bring the technical skills, but they also bring the speed. Because of their speed, we couldn't execute our typical possession game."

Hudson, which put pressure on the Lady Rough Riders' defense throughout the game, had a 3-0 lead at halftime.

Senior defender Molly Charpentier got the Lady Explorers on the board when she got the ball on the left side of the field, took a few dribbles and blasted a low line drive to the lower right side of the net.

That goal gave Hudson a 1-0 lead nearly 12 minutes into the game.

The Lady Explorers got their next two goals less than eight minutes later.

Hudson made it 2-0 when junior forward Jordan Manley received a pass from senior midfielder Elena Vuksta and finished inside the Lady Rough Riders' penalty box.

The Lady Explorers made it 3-0 with 19:41 left in the half.

Vuksta took a long free kick that was eventually gathered by sophomore Mia Becker, who scored from point-blank range.

Lexi Muccino scored the final goal on a follow shot halfway into the second half.

Hudson had plenty of other chances that sailed just wide or just over the goal. They had other shots stopped by Roosevelt senior goalkeeper Liz Hartung, who made 11 saves.

"When we made a mistake, they [the Lady Explorers] were sprinting," Shutway said. "We were a bit slower closing space or getting back. We got beat to a lot of those loose balls."

Hudson also made sure it had a plethora of defenders around Lady Rough Riders' star senior midfielder Kayla Fischer, who recently decided to continue her academic and soccer careers at Indiana University.

Fischer had a few breakaways and had her best chance in the second half when her shot went just wide right of the goal.

Much of the time, though, Fischer had trouble finding any free space as Lady Explorer defenders swarmed her every time she touched the ball.

"We double-teamed Kayla whenever she got the ball," Gentille said. "We wanted somebody else to beat us. Our defense played really well. They stayed in front of her as best they could."

Hudson had a 15-0 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.

Gentille believes his team is coming together after a couple of lackluster performances the previous week.

"The Jackson game was our worst game of the season," he said. "You're going to have a bad game once in awhile. Against Falls, things just don't click sometimes. The Stow game was a solid game and we dominated [Saturday]."

Since both teams are Division I programs, they could meet again in the postseason.

Shutway believes his team's latest loss could be beneficial down the road.

At the same time, though, he also knows this setback will have no impact on the conference standings.

Roosevelt controls its own destiny with a 4-0 record in the Suburban League American Conference.

"Every game is important, but this one is not as important as what we do coming out of this game," Shutway said. "It comes down to believing in each other.

"It's a wake-up call. If you want to win a championship, you can't just expect it to happen. Someone is always going to try to knock you off."

The Lady Explorers are scheduled to host Twinsburg Wednesday at Hudson Memorial Stadium. Game time is set for 4:30 p.m.

Hudson is scheduled to visit Bishop Watterson next Saturday in Columbus. Play is set to begin at 1 p.m.


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