CUYAHOGA FALLS — Playing styles make soccer games.
This year, Cuyahoga Falls has wanted to play a more possession-based passing style, but has found their efforts frustrated by their own turf at Laybourne Field.
By contrast, Kent Roosevelt boys soccer has been playing defend-and-counter soccer for most of coach Kiel Cox’s tenure.
Roosevelt’s style proved better suited to win a scruffy game Sept. 14 at Laybourne as the Rough Riders made a goal in the 10th minute stand up for a 1-0 win.
Falls also dropped a 3-1 loss at Wadsworth on Tuesday.
Falls dropped to 3-4-2, 0-4 in the Suburban League National Conference.
Cox noted his team’s defensive style was effective, if not always as aesthetically pleasing.
"That’s definitely something that we coach," Cox said. "We protect the back, we look to be dangerous on the counter, we look to be dangerous on set pieces. It definitely was not pretty tonight, but we’ll take it."
Falls coach Eric Ortopan was boiling with frustration after the game. Ortopan had no issue with his team’s effort, noting Falls finished with a 2-1 edge in shots on goal, but he noted the Black Tigers had to play a different style because of its field.
"It’s the story of the season," Ortopan said. "We shut down their offense. It’s a set piece that got us.
"We did everything that we could on an ice rink tonight," he added. "Given the conditions, you’ve got to be direct."
Ortopan noted he was so vexed by the field conditions at Laybourne, he might seek to have Falls play its home games at a different venue for the rest of the season.
The game’s lone goal came on a corner kick in the 10th minute.
Rough Rider captain Andrew Martin took the corner kick and set a low ball ball along the ground through the six-yard box. The ball eluded Falls goaltender Brady Zeiszler and came to Roosevelt sophomore Jayden Reynolds put the ball in.
"That was a bit of fortunate bounce for us," Cox said. "It evens out because last week against Stow, we had a bounce go against us the cost us a goal."
From there the contest was a bit a of slog. Cuyahoga Falls’ lone shot on goal in the first half was parried by Roosevelt keeper Nate Montanari, as he finished with two saves on the night.
Zeiszler did not have any saves, nor did Falls sophomore goalie Even Reischman — who came on at halftime — as the Black Tiger defense did not allow a shot on goal in the second half.
However, Falls’ offense was frustrated by having to go through what seemed like a white wall of Roosevelt defenders at times. Falls’ lone shot on goal in the second half came on a turnaround shot by Andrew Kuntz in the 67th minute, but Montanari made the save.
"Both teams are playing on it. We can’t blame the conditions for a loss," Ortopan said. "It does make us play a different style than we want. It has everything to do with it."