HUDSON — All it takes is one, right?
In this particular case, yes.
Of course, the Hudson boys soccer team wouldn’t have minded getting a few more, though.
Regardless, the Explorers are returning to a place that has been quite familiar to them over the years.
That would be the district competition.
Top-seeded Hudson captured a Solon Division I sectional title after earning a 1-0 victory over ninth-seeded Brecksville-Broadview Heights Saturday at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
With the win, the Explorers improved to 10-4-3 overall. The Bees, who lost to Hudson 3-1 in Suburban League National Conference play during the regular season, finished 4-10-4.
The Explorers are scheduled to play fifth-seeded Twinsburg in a district semifinal contest Wednesday at Memorial Stadium. Play is set to begin at 7 p.m.
Hudson defeated the Tigers 3-2 in National Conference play earlier this month at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium.
"It’s good to be at home," Explorers head coach Steve Knapp said of his upcoming game with Twinsburg.
Against Brecksville, Hudson dominated possession throughout the game. However, the Bees played as many as five defenders in the middle of their own penalty box. As a result, the Explorers often had to settle for shots from long range despite being on the attack most of the way.
"They [the Bees] tactically sat in and defended," Knapp said. "They made it hard. We weren’t clean enough combination-wise in the final third to break them down.
"I think we created enough chances to score multiple goals, but that’s the game of soccer."
Hudson used its always stellar passing game to generate plenty of chances. But the Explorers couldn’t quite find the final touch to put the ball in the net.
For awhile at least.
Hudson finally got the only goal it needed a little more than two minutes into the second half.
Ben Hallis had a shot from just outside the box go off the hands of Brecksville goalkeeper Thomas Champion. The ball landed at the feet of the Explorers’ Pete Strawbridge on the right side. Strawbridge played the ball to the middle of the field and teammate Skanda Moorthy tracked it down.
Although he nearly overran the ball, Moorthy cleverly used his right foot to kick the ball into the net as it traveled toward him.
That was all Hudson needed as it was one-way traffic throughout the evening.
"Pete is just smart," Knapp said. "He’s composed. We were in and around the 18 a lot. When you get to the 18, the space is really small. You can’t play people into space. The goalie is going to get it or we’re going to run out of room. We just needed to be cleaner to feet."
The Bees had a couple of opportunities deep, but they never got a clean shot on goal.
One of those opportunities was very deep in the Explorers’ box. Fortunately for Hudson, a header by Brecksville went high and wide of the goal.
"We just need to be a little cleaner back there," Knapp said. "They could have finished that chance. That’s the silly part about soccer. You can can create 20 chances and one team can create one and that team can win."
The Explorers blasted 10 shots toward Champion. Hudson also had a 13-1 advantage in corner kicks.
When Brecksvile had the ball, it didn’t keep at its feet very long. The Explorers forced many turnovers and won a large majority of the 50-50 balls.
Such dominance in possession is definitely a good thing, right? Not necessarily says Knapp.
"When they’re playing back like that, it helps us when they’re on the ball," he said. "When they have the ball, it creates more space for us.
"Because they never really had the ball, they were always afforded to sit back in. They didn’t really attack with multiple guys. If they would have had more of the ball, we would have created more chances.
"It probably would have been better if we let them connect a little bit more. We had no transitional moments. But we found a goal and that was enough."
Knapp had a hunch his team would be able to solve Brecksville’s Rubik’s Cube eventually. His players have been known for their diligence and perseverance throughout the season.
"Our boys always work hard," Knapp said. "They know what they want to do. Getting effort out of them is never the case. It’s just trying to break down a really organized back five. They [the Bees] had a block of five and a block of four and they played the one guy up top."
Hudson is loaded with offensive weapons who can play an attractive style of soccer that gives opposing defenses fits. This type of strategy has not been lost on the Explorers’ opponents.
However, that won’t stop Hudson from attacking with gusto. And if the goals turn out to be few and far between, the Explorers know they can rely on their unsung but extremely formidable back line.
"I’m disappointed in the fact that we couldn’t find a second goal," Knapp said. "A second goal would have made it a lot easier. I’m proud of the fact of our effort and that we didn’t give up a goal. Shutouts are always good."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, firstname.lastname@example.org or @FrankAceto_RPC.