While Twinsburg looked sharp in its post season opener, the Tigers girls soccer team is facing some adversity as the second seed looks to extend play in heated district action.
After a first-round bye, Twinsburg had to face a solid challenge from an underrated seventh-seed in Warren Howland.
Twinsburg (13-2-1) prevailed in impressive fashion with a 4-1 win in the sectional final over Howland (9-6-3) Oct. 17.
Looking to have a deep post season run in a familiar bracket at the Solon Division I district tournament, the Tigers were set to meet third seed Solon (10-6-1) in a district semifinal Monday..
In the district semis, head coach John Garber was without the services of sterling keeper Alexis Cellura, who suffered a concussion 25:00 into the first half against Howland.
"Alexis was ruled out because of the concussion, but Solon’s keeper is out too," said Garber, prior to the match. "Alexis is tough and we will miss her."
Garber was going to start junior Angela Rose with sophomore Elliotte Schneeman lending depth.
The Tiger staff is hoping to get Cellura back if the Tigers won for the upcoming district final Saturday at Solon at 7 p.m.
"Angela will be in goal, but Angela (Rose) and Elliotte have both done the work, and they are ready," noted Garber. "I know it’s a cliché, but it is the next player up."
Top seed Walsh Jesuit and fifth seed Hudson squared off in the other district semi clash.
After a record-setting season in 2018, this year’s Tiger squad had six starters who had never played in post season play.
Garber was quick to point that out. He also leaned on his veterans.
All-Ohio senior forward and team captain Alli King netted two goals against Howland, one with 24:00 left in the first half, and the second tally at the 10:00 mark, to push the Tigers lead to 2-1.
Twinsburg also got huge contribution from its youth.
Speedy freshman Jadyn Harris scored early in the second half to push the lead to 3-1 and also had an assist.
Freshman Brenna Utrup also had a goal and a feed while third-year senior Kaela Turle also had an assist.
"I thought our organization and attack was strong," said Garber, whose club had 14 shots on goal.
"Alli King was very dangerous while Jaydin and Gillian Voltz (another 3-year senior) also played well," noted the coach.
Defense was a big key for the Tigers as Howland has some athletes.
"We knew they had a good record and they have a lot of speed in their attack – this was not an easy second game in the tournament," explained Garber.
"All of our back line defenders did a great job, led by Amy Hawersaat, our captain and four-year starter," noted Garber.
In addition, praise went out to defenders like senior Trisha Singh, junior Tara Gairing, sophomore Erika Davis, junior Liv Egler, junior Jessica Davis, and sophomore Paige Hepke.
Other key seniors are Gillian McKenna and Lola Davis.