STOW — So far this season, Nordonia and Stow-Munroe Falls girls soccer have aimed to upset the balance in the Suburban League National Conference.
When these two up-and-coming teams met Wednesday at the Stow Soccer Stadium, the result was an entertaining, spirited contest.
The Knights scored first, but Stow rallied and scored a 2-1 win. Stow improved to 7-2, 3-0 in the National Conference, while Nordonia dropped to 5-3-1, 1-2 in the conference as the loss snapped a five-game win streak for the Knights.
Stow coach Jim Dudones noted his team showed a lot of heart, especially for playing its three game in last five days.
"I’ve told them so often, this is what all that running in the summer is for," Dudones said. "This is what we do. To be able to play at that level of game in the second half shows a lot."
Nordonia coach Les Gicei declined comment after the game.
In an even first half, Nordonia had the better chances on goal. Knight senior Riley Saliga nearly chipped the ball over Stow goaltender Taylor Galioto in the 17th minute, but the ball bounced off the top of the crossbar and into Galioto’s hands.
Nordonia junior Sam Wiehe tested Galioto numerous times in the game, despite being the focal point of Stow’s defense.
"We wanted her to see two people every time," Dudones said of Wiehe. "The first one we wanted to be a midfielder, so we still had some cover. They did a good job getting the ball forward, so she only had to face one line.
"Taylor did a great job tonight. She gets a game ball for sure," he added. as Galioto finished with five saves.
With the game tied 0-0 at the half, Wiehe helped the Knights take the lead in the 51st minute.
Nordonia earned a free kick of the right side of the pitch and sent a high ball to the back post. Forward Athena Kolettis controlled the ball in traffic and sent low shot into the net to make it 1-0.
Stow was able to find a quick equalizer. After hitting the side netting a few minutes earlier, Stow forward Madi Marino was fouled just outside the box, but the referee opted to play advantage.
In doing so, Stow junior Krista McDowell unleashed a shot from 20 yards out that flew into the upper corner of net, tying the game at 1-1 in the 55th minute.
A corner kick in the 63rd minute provided the winning goal. Stow captain Mckenzie Klingensmith served a perfect ball to the back post, where defender Sadie Lenc headed it home at close range.
Nordonia finished the game with a 8-7 in shots on goal and had a couple of quality chances late. Wiehe nearly tied the game in the 69th minute, when she was able to create some space at the top of the box, but her shot was parried by a diving Galioto and Stow was able to clear the rebound.
Nordonia finished with a 5-4 edge in corner kicks. Knights goaltender Sheyli Wetzel had five saves on the night.
Stow will continue to play a packed schedule as the Bulldogs are set to take on Uniontown Lake on the road Saturday at noon. The Bulldogs will play host to Revere Monday at 7 p.m. before traveling to Twinsburg Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Meanwhile, Nordonia returns home Saturday to host Canton GlenOak at 1 p.m. before hosting Brecksville-Broadview Heights Wednesday at 7 p.m.
Reporter Michael Leonard can be reached at 330-541-9442, firstname.lastname@example.org or @MLeonard_GHO