HUDSON — When they met the previous time, they played a scintillating 80 minutes that featured an abundance of twists and turns.
Not this time. There was no such drama when they renewed acquaintances Wednesday.
As a matter of fact, round two turned out to be very much one-sided.
Unfortunately for the members of the Twinsburg boys soccer team, they were on the wrong end of it.
Top-seeded Hudson earned its eight consecutive district final appearance after cruising past the fifth-seeded Tigers 4-1 Wednesday. The district semifinal contest took place at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
With the victory, the Explorers (11-4-3) are scheduled to play second-seeded Solon in the Solon Division I district title match Saturday at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School. Play is set to begin at 4 p.m.
Hudson, which earned a hard-fought 3-2 win over Twinsburg earlier this month on the road, dictated the pace from start to finish.
"Our guys were ready," Explorers head coach Steve Knapp said. "They played a really good game. We haven't been setting the tone early and I think we did this game. It helps us to get off to a really good start."
Hudson, which led 3-0 at halftime, scored three of its goals on set pieces.
"The pregame talk was, we wanted to get a goal from the run of play, which is creating, and then we wanted to get a second," Knapp said.
Leading the way was Skanda Moorthy. The standout midfielder/forward played a role in 75 percent of his team’s goals.
Moorthy converted a penalty kick late in the first half and then found the net again after poking a corner kick by junior forward Pete Strawbridge into the net from point-blank range. Moorthy’s latter tally gave Hudson a just about insurmountable 4-0 advantage.
Moorthy also had an assist on junior center midfielder Ben Hallis’ goal, which made it 2-0 with a little more than 10 minutes left in the first half. Once Hallis got the ball, he showed some nifty footwork to find more space on the left side before drilling a line drive into the net with his left foot.
"I thought Hallis scored a great goal," longtime Tigers head coach Mike Lally said. "Skanda is really hard to mark. He’s very mobile. They’re good players. They’re probably some of the best players we played all year."
Senior center back Peyton Koscho also capitalized on a set piece. He had a near miss on a previous set piece too.
Koscho got his head on a long free kick by junior defender Caleb Junko. Koscho’s header hit the post, but he got another chance some three minutes later.
This time, Strawbridge took a direct kick from close to 40 yards. Koscho made his opportunity count as he headed Strawbridge’s chip into the net for the Explorers’ first goal nearly 15 minutes into the match.
"I think we maybe had the run of play the first game [against Twinsburg]," Knapp said. "When they scored first, that changes everything. Now we have to fight and claw.
"It just makes things easier when you get the first goal. You can relax a little bit."
The Tigers (11-6-2), on the other hand, didn’t have any answers for Hudson’s array of playmakers. Hudson, utilizing its usual short-passing game, controlled possession much of the way.
"They’re a really good team," Lally said. "We felt we needed to play a perfect game to beat them and we didn’t get that done in the first half.
"There’s a lot of talent on that side of the ball. We respect them a lot. They’re well-coached. They play attacking, good positive football."
Down three goals, Twinsburg went into attack mode for much of the second half.
The Tigers finally got a goal when senior forward Connor Gantous got free on the left side. His cross was deflected, but the ball landed near junior midfielder Ian Rader’s feet. Rader, who gathered the ball inside the Explorers’ penalty box, easily converted from the middle of the field.
The Tigers had a few opportunities deep in Hudson’s end late in the match, but they couldn’t pull the trigger.
The Explorers had a 4-1 advantage in corner kicks and a 6-2 edge in shots on goal. Hudson is seeking its third regional appearance in four years and fourth in the last six years.
While Hudson always expects to be among the elite when it’s all said and done, Knapp can still appreciate all of the baby steps needed to get there.
"Our expectations are to get to a district final and beyond every year," Knapp said. "These seniors have experienced a district final every year. That's pretty special for them. It's something we talk about a lot."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.