WADSWORTH — A lengthy season can take its toll on anyone.
The bumps, bruises, sprains and occasional tear or breakage is pretty much inevitable in a rigorous and physical sport like soccer.
Hudson head girls coach Chris Gentille knows quite a bit about such "painful" details.
For his snakebitten squad, this lengthy toll of agony took just two games.
No worries for Gentille and Co., though. The Explorers appear to have plenty of reinforcements to march onward.
Their opponents from Route 94 won’t argue.
Hudson made a smashing 2019 Suburban League National Conference debut after earning a convincing 4-0 victory over host Wadsworth Wednesday at Art Wright Stadium.
Since the season began, the Explorers saw seniors Kierstin Havens (midfielder) and Lily Morgan (goalkeeper), junior Kali Sweet (defender) and sophomore Demi Gutierrez (forward) go down with injuries.
Hudson (2-1) also is missing junior forward Tori Liesen, who suffered an injury during the offseason.
Fortunately, Morgan and Sweet returned to the field against the Grizzlies. Their fully healthy teammates haven’t skipped a beat either.
"We had a tough one against Dublin Jerome [Aug. 24]," Gentille said. "We got banged up a little bit. Lily looked good [Tuesday] in practice and she felt like she was good to go.
"I think Tori [Liesen] is close. Maybe about a week or so, which is good. Demi had a concussion. Kierstin is probably two, three weeks away."
The Explorers dictated the pace moments after the initial whistle.
Hudson scored less than three minutes into the game. Freshman forward Reagan Miele got free off a pass from freshman midfielder Alice Xu. Miele used her powerful left foot to finish from the left side with a hard line drive into the net.
"I thought we started out the game really strong by getting that first goal in that first five minutes," Gentille said. "That kind of set the tone for us."
It sure did.
The Explorers made things particularly difficult for the Grizzlies (0-4, 0-1) in the final 3 minutes, 29 seconds of the first half.
Once again, the freshmen took center stage.
Junior forward Ally Campanella found freshman forward Katia Ikhlef in the middle of the field. Ikhlef chipped a shot over the outstretched fingers of Wadsworth freshman goalie Sydney Smith and into the net to make it 2-0.
Miele got into the act again with a little less than 90 seconds left. Campanella played a perfect through ball toward the right side of the field.
Using her blazing speed, Miele cut toward the middle to get Campanella’s well-placed pass and then beat Smith with a nifty move. Miele had an empty net in front of her from there and the standout forward delivered to make it 3-0.
Maddie Coates made her presence known practically out of nowhere. The junior midfielder blasted a 35-yard shot over Smith’s head and into the strings. Coates’ breathtaking rocket took place with approximately 19 minutes left.
Hudson had an 8-3 advantage in shots on goal and a 3-2 edge in corner kicks. Morgan finished with three saves.
"We kind of got a little stagnant in the middle of the first half," Gentille said. "At least with our energy. We turned the ball over at times a little bit too often.
"I thought we cleaned it up a little bit better in the second half. We were able to possess and keep the ball and at least find the open players that we were looking for in the first half that we didn’t necessarily connect on as often."
The Explorers should be able to connect more often in the future. Especially when they’re all in one piece.
"If we get healthy, I think we can be in good shape," Gentille said.
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.