HUDSON — When the Hudson girls soccer team hosted Mentor Monday night, it was a battle between two teams wanting to put tough opening-night losses behind them.
The Lady Explorers were looking to erase the memory of a 5-0 loss at Medina Friday, while the Lady Cardinals fell 6-0 at Whitehouse Anthony Wayne Saturday.
While Mentor head coach Corey Robishaw was happy with her team’s effort, it was Hudson that came out with a 3-1 win at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
The Lady Explorers improved to 1-1 on the young season.
Hudson head coach Chris Gentille said he was happy with the way his team bounced back.
"Really, the one shot on goal was all they got," Gentille said. "Other than that, they didn’t have anything. Our defense played great for the most part and our midfield controlled the ball.
"Playing against Medina off the bat was tough. We had eight new starters playing that game. It was 0-0 at halftime. We just ran out of gas."
One other element missing for the Lady Explorers in the Medina game was senior captain Jordan Manley, who was sidelined with a sprained ankle.
It took Manley just 17 seconds to make her presence felt against the Lady Cardinals.
Off the opening kickoff, Mentor brought the ball into its own end, only to have it stolen by Hudson forward Lexi Muccino in the box.
Muccino’s shot was saved by Mentor goalkeeper Megan Bickell, but the rebound went right to Manley, who put a low shot into the net from the top of the box.
"It was all luck," Manley said. "The ball fell right to me and I just tried to pass it into the net. I didn’t think it would go in because there were so many bodies in the way."
If her first goal was luck, Manley’s second strike in the seventh minute showed a lot of skill.
Hudson midfielder Anna Campanella was able to run along the end line and fire a pass to Manley in the six-yard box. Manley turned and blasted a shot just inside the right post to make it 2-0.
The Lady Explorers were in command throughout the rest of the first half, as they finished with a 14-2 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-1 edge in corner kicks.
However, a freaky bounce in the 12th minute gave Mentor a road back into the game.
After a Hudson foul, Mentor defender Riley Lewis took a free kick from 50 yards out. The ball took a big bounce in the box and went just beyond the fingers of Hudson goalie Lily Morgan and bounced in.
The score stayed at 2-1 into halftime and for most of the second half. The Lady Cardinals tried to move to more long balls on offense, but they never seriously threatened the Lady Explorers’ goal.
After having several chances saved by Biddell, Hudson finally put the game away in the 80th minute on a counterattack.
After stealing the ball in her own end, Campinella slid a through ball behind the defense and freshman forward Lauren Pacsi ran onto it.
Pacsi showed off her pace, sprinting behind Mentor’s defense to go one-on-one with the keeper. Biddell got a piece of the ball, but not enough to prevent Pacsi’s first high school goal from going in.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, email@example.com or @MLeonard_RPC.