PENINSULA — For Ravenna boys soccer, the trip to Woodridge Tuesday represented a key match in the Portage Trail Conference Metro Division.
For Woodridge, it represented something more.
At halftime, Woodridge honored longtime supporter Joe Rausch, who is the father of former Woodridge coach Nate Rausch, with A plaque in his honor.
"He definitely did inspire us," Woodridge coach Andrew Spencer said of Rausch.
That inspiration led to a long night for the Ravens. After leading 3-1 at the halftime, Woodridge erupted for six second-half goals to score a 9-1 win over the Ravens.
Woodridge improved to 3-3-5, 3-0-2 in the Metro Division. Ravenna dropped to 5-5, 2-3 in the Metro.
Spence had to watch the game from press box, serving a red-card suspension. What he witnessed was Woodridge’s best offensive output of the season.
"Over the course of the last few games, our guys have been trending upwards," Spencer said. "Ravenna is always a tough opponent. We knew if we let them hang around it would be tough, so we our emphasis was on putting the ball in the net."
Ravenna coach Matt Wunderle could do little but tip his cap to the Bulldogs.
"They’re a good team, so you’ve got to give them credit," Wunderle said. "I thought Woodridge did a better job getting to 50/50 balls in the first half. I feel like a few of their goals were due to a lack of discipline on our part.
"We made some adjustments and told our guys to play with a bit more passion at halftime," he added. "They adjusted to our adjustments."
A bad bounce in the first minute was a bad omen for the Ravens. Woodridge forward Nathan Dunaj sent a blistering shot off the post, which ricocheted off the back of Ravenna goalie Ian Johnson and in for an own goal.
Ravenna got the game tied at 1-1 in the eighth minute, thanks to a brilliant run by Austin England. England shed three Bulldog defenders to get into the box and put home a low shot past Woodridge keeper Ben Rado.
From then on, however, it was pretty much one-way traffic.
Woodridge retook the lead in the 20th minute when defense Michael Ritch scored from outside the box. In the 28th minute, a nice cross from Dunaj was turned into the net at close range by Manning Thiel.
Up 3-1 at the half, Woodridge exploded out of the gate with five goals in the first 14 minutes of the second half.
Thiel got his second goal from a tight angle in the 45th minute, followed by three goals in 90 seconds from Jad El-ghazal, Nolan Kulhke and Josh Flemming.
Flemming then crossed a ball to El-ghazal, who headed it home in the 54th minute.
Woodridge got a goal in the final 30 seconds from Evan Wagner to complete the rout.
"We’ve been working a lot in training on about finishing and mixing up our offensive looks," Spencer said. "A lot of that was on display tonight."
Woodridge will travel to Chagrin Falls Saturday at 3 p.m.