HUDSON — It really didn’t have any significance.
And you could call it a rather mundane tune-up for more important matters down the road.
Pardon Jadyn Harris if she wasn’t particularly indifferent about her so-called insignificant final conference game.
Let’s just say the Twinsburg freshman forward bluntly begged to differ.
“We just wanted to beat Hudson,” Harris said.
As it turned out, the standout playmaker’s wish was the Tigers’ command.
The Twinsburg girls soccer team earned a 3-0 victory over host Hudson Thursday at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Tigers improved to 12-2-1 and finished 5-1-1 in the Suburban League National Conference.
Other than having a chance to add another win to its already sparkling record, the matchup with the Explorers didn’t have much value.
Thanks to its win over Cuyahoga Falls Wednesday, Stow-Munroe Falls, which lost to Twinsburg 6-0 earlier in the season, clinched the National Conference title. The Bulldogs finished 6-1 in conference play.
As for Hudson, it has certainly been a nightmarish season thus far.
The Explorers, who feature six freshmen on their squad, have been devastated by one injury after another. Hudson, which has been a perennial contender for the conference title, enters postseason play with a losing record for the first time in many years.
But that didn’t diminish Harris’ enthusiasm. Or, for that matter, senior forward Allison King.
Remember, the Tigers’ glorious 2018 quest to their first state semifinal appearance in school included a 2-0 victory over the Explorers in the Kent Division I district title game.
“They’re always a good game for us,” King said. “The seniors have never lost to Hudson, so we wanted to keep it that way and exit this stage on a good note. They’re one of our biggest rivals — always.”
Twinsburg’s dynamic duo certainly did its part.
Harris scored twice, including a rebound from point-blank range after a shot by King on the left side, and King, who plans to continue her academic and soccer careers at Northern Kentucky University, found the net once to lead the Tigers.
Harris is one of many new faces on Twinsburg’s talented but inexperienced squad. The Tigers, who lost just one game last season, saw many crucial components of their well-oiled machine depart due to graduation.
“One of the difficulties is obviously graduating 13 seniors,” Tigers head coach John Garber said. “We have 13 girls that have very limited varsity experience and no playoff experience. The year was a progression to where we think we are right now.”
King is one of the few elder statesmen on the squad. Twinsburg’s leading goal-scorer needed some time to figure out how her new teammates functioned.
Fortunately for King, that figuring-out process is near its completion.
“It took us awhile to get adjusted,” King said. “Everybody here is so close. We’re such good friends. We kind of just clicked eventually.”
Harris clicked with her teammates the moment she joined the varsity squad. Her plethora of skills certainly helped her cause. It also didn’t hurt to have new friends welcome the gifted Harris to the team with open arms.
“The seniors were all really nice,” Harris said. “They made it really easy to adjust.”
The Tigers have closed the book on their missed opportunity during the regular season. Yes, it would have loved to retain its crown as National Conference champion, but Twinsburg has much bigger fish to fry. The Tigers are the No. 2 seed in the Solon Division I sectional-district tournament.
“You have to give Stow all the credit because they were so consistent throughout the year,” Garber said. “They clearly earned it. There’s no hard feelings or ill feelings. That’s competition.”
King certainly didn’t care to see her coveted trophy go to someone else. At the same time, though, the senior dynamo certainly appreciated the journey.
And she hopes that journey is nowhere near its conclusion.
“Living up to everything last year, we knew it was going to be a hard task already,” King said. “Of course it’s disappointing we didn’t win the league, but overall, it was a good season.”
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.