TWINSBURG — There was little doubt Twinsburg girls soccer came into the playoffs with a ton of momentum.
Ranked eighth in Division I in the final OSSCA coaches poll and undefeated, the Tigers had just enjoyed their best regular season in school history. However, as the saying goes, everyone is 0-0 when the playoffs start.
By that reasoning, the Tigers are now 1-0 and look to not be slowing down from their regular season form.
With Kent Roosevelt missing several starters due to injury, Twinsburg scored in bunches early and coasted home for a 5-0 win in a Division I sectional final game Thursday at Tiger Stadium.
The Tigers improved to 17-0 on the season and advanced to face Solon Monday in Division I district semifinal at Tiger Stadium. Solon defeated Nordonia 4-1 Thursday.
Roosevelt ended the season at 4-11-3.
Although Twinsburg has had bigger victories this season, Tiger coach John Garber noted the win over Rough Riders may have been his team’s most complete this fall.
"We moved the ball well tonight," Garber said. "The width of the field was a big ally for us."
Rough Rider coach Jeremy Shutway had nothing but compliments for the Tigers.
"You can’t overstate the difference in the level of experience," Shutway said. "Even last year, they knew how to possess the ball and make you chase. We need to learn to be patient and, when the time comes, break out and find the cracks."
There were very few cracks in the Tigers’ armor Thursday. Twinsburg finished with a 19-0 edge in shots on goal and had possession in the Rough Riders end at least 80 percent of the time.
"They’re that good," Shutway said.
Twinsburg stayed patient on offense and opened the scoring when junior Alli King scored at clsoe range after a headed cross in the 11th minute.
Defender Amy Hawersaat made it 2-0 Tigers with a low shot that eluded Roosevelt goalkeeper Cassiday Bourne in the 16th minute. Borne kept the game from getting out of hand, as she had 12 saves on the night.
Twinsburg’s goalkeeping tandem of Hannah Zochowski and Cassidy Smith barely touched the ball during the game.
"We knew we had a chance to get Amy into the offense more tonight, because we thought the y would pack in against us, Garber said. "We just had to be patient and run our offense."
Twinsburg senior Mia Cervenka scored the next two goals for the Tigers. In the 21st minute, King made a nice run to the end line and slid the ball across the face of goal. Cervenka crashed the back post and put the ball home.
In the 29th minute, Cerveka made it 4-0 when she beat Bourne to a diagonal ball into the box and chipped the ball over the keeper.
Having scored only two goals all season prior to Thursday, Hawersaat scored her second goal of the game in the 31st minute. Roosevelt was able to clear a corner kick out of the box, but Hawersaat collect the the ball and launched into a shot into the net from the top of the box.
Up 5-0 at the half, Twinsburg emptied its bench, but the Rough Riders still barely got a sniff of the Tigers goal.
The Rough Riders actually had more success moving the ball forward with a freshman-heavy lineup i the last 15 minutes, but Smith watched Kent’s lone shot of the game go well wide in the 78th minute.
As for Solon, the Tigers beat the Comets 3-0 in their opening game of the season back on Aug. 17. Garber noted that result had little bearing on the Tigers’ upcoming district semifinal.
"It’s going to be two local rivals playing each other in October," Garber said. "That’s what playoff soccer is all about."
The district final will be next Thursday at 7 p.m. at yet to be determined neutral site.