WADSWORTH — The path of destruction often begins early.
This certainly applies to high school freshmen, particularly ones who are involved in extracurricular activities.
In fact, there has been plenty of research indicating that the road to dropping out begins in ninth grade.
As for the six freshmen who report for duty on the Hudson girls soccer team, their response to such ominous details may seem a bit irreverent.
Thanks in large part to their sextet of daring wunderkinds, the Explorers made a smashing 2019 conference debut with a convincing 4-0 victory over host Wadsworth.
The Suburban League National Conference showdown took place Wednesday at Art Wright Stadium.
All six freshmen saw action and three of them made their way into the scorebook due to their excessive array of highlights.
The leading lady on this night was a turbocharged dynamo by the name of Reagan Miele. The expeditious forward scored two first-half goals in just her third career varsity game.
Rumor has it that such efforts could be the norm for the rocket-fueled teenager the next four years. Miele certainly won’t mind.
"I had a great opportunity to start and I’m very excited," she said. "It’s a great experience for myself and I’m ready to step up if I need to."
Miele scored her first goal less than three minutes into the game when she got free on the left side and then turned on the afterburners.
Once she got past a defender, all she had in front of her was Grizzlies’ goalkeeper Sydney Smith, who, appropriately enough, also is a freshman.
To put it in brutally honest terms, Smith had zero chance of stopping Hudson’s newest marvel.
How did Miele manage to intrude Wadsworth’s prohibited airspace? She can give props to a teammate, who is, wait for it … a freshman. That gifted teammate is Alice Xu, a highly skilled midfielder who received credit for the assist.
"I thought the team played very well," Miele said. "They gave me a lot of balls to the side and I could run onto them and get past the defense."
Miele scored her second goal when she — surprise! — outran a defender to a loose ball and then made a brilliant move to practically paralyze Smith inside her own box.
As a result, Miele had an open net in front of her. From there, the dazzling freshman demoralized the hapless Grizzlies with a simple, delicate tap from her right foot. Once the ball connected with the strings, the Explorers’ had an unassailable three-goal advantage.
Another freshman had her fork and knife handy during Hudson’s sumptuous feast, as well.
Her name is Katia Ikhlef, a robust forward who prefers to overpower defenders rather than elude them.
Thanks to her soft touch from near the penalty box, Ikhlef gave the Explorers a 2-0 lead late in the first half when her neatly placed chip sailed over Smith’s outstretched fingers and into the nylon.
Hudson’s three other stupefying freshmen are pretty decent too. These radiant balls of energy are defenders Emma Liesen, Grace Baldwin and Olivia Greenbaum.
It might not be particularly wise to consider the Explorers’ catchy new tune a one-hit wonder.
This particular all-girl band expects to go multi-platinum … over and over again.
"It’s very exciting because I don’t think anyone was really expecting six freshmen to play at once," Miele said. "It ended up happening, so I think it’s a great opportunity."
This modern-day version of Destiny’s Child may have a "Bug a boo" or two during the treacherous but thrilling ride to superstardom.
But these "Independent Women" show no signs of disbanding anytime soon.
Just ask their trailblazing band manager.
"They’re all stepping up really well," Hudson head coach Chris Gentille said. "It bodes well for the future and for what these girls are capable of doing this year and obviously, moving forward."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.