HUDSON — His team settled for three goals when it could have scored a lot more.
Such a reasonable total was just fine with Hudson head girls soccer coach Chris Gentille, though.
In fact, the veteran headman may have forbidden his players from reaching a more substantial amount.
Wait … what?
“If we came out and won eight, nine, nothing and we’re completely flawless, not that I’d be concerned, but as the season goes, you want to take steps,” Gentille said.
Truth be told, the host Explorers’ 3-0 victory over North Olmsted in their 2019 debut Friday at Hudson Memorial Stadium was more or less the equivalent of that “eight, nine, nothing” score Gentille indicated.
Hudson controlled possession from the opening touch and dictated the pace throughout the evening.
The Explorers launched an overpowering attack to establish their control in the opening minutes. And then they opted for a kinder, gentler approach of ruling its pitch the rest of the way.
Nevertheless, this benign outlook is a short-term investment. The long-term gains will likely occur when Hudson switches to an iron-fist regime.
That imperial era will be coming soon.
“I told the girls, ‘Take baby steps throughout the season,’” Gentille said. “Each game, each moment, just try to get better as the season goes.”
Those “baby steps” were more like prodigious ones in the opening minutes.
Sophomore forward Lauren Pacsi delivered a perfect pass to senior center midfielder Kierstin Havens, who was lurking in the middle of the field. Havens took a few dribbles inside the Eagles’ 18-yard line and smashed a line drive into the lower left corner of the net.
Some 30 seconds later, the Explorers made it clear who was boss on this night.
Junior forward Ally Campanella took matters into her own hands by blasting a shot into the net from near the sideline. North Olmsted goalie Nikki Hamdan had no chance.
While Hudson, which finished with a 9-0 advantage in shots on goal and a 4-0 edge in corner kicks, continued to invade the Eagles’ territory, it did so with far less ferocity.
The Explorers’ final tally took place when Pacsi converted a penalty kick eight minutes after halftime.
So did Hudson have chances to put up more crooked numbers on the scoreboard? Absolutely.
On this night, a cease-fire was far more appropriate.
The Explorers, who started three of their six freshmen sensations, undeniably proved their point. They came, they saw, they conquered. And then they peacefully shook hands afterward.
“They’re learning as we go,” Gentille said. “Everyone is doing a good job. The juniors and seniors work well with each other. It just kind of trickles down with good leadership.”
Hudson may showcase a merciful attitude toward some other opponents in the future. Nonetheless, the beast will be unleashed eventually.
It could be awhile. Even the mighty Explorers have a need to ask for mercy from time to time.
Unfortunately for Hudson, that time is now.
A few key players have spent more days in a health center than they have on the pitch.
Juniors Tori Liesen (forward) and Mackenzie Pierce (defender) and sophomore midfielder/forward Demi Gutierrez missed Friday’s game because of injuries.
Hudson also got a major scare late in the match when Havens suffered a knee injury.
“We’re pretty injury-riddled,” Gentille said. “We just need to stay healthy.”
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.