BROADVIEW HEIGHTS — Stand-up comedian Carrie Snow once said, "No day is so bad it can’t be fixed with a nap."
Appropriately enough, a man named Steve Knapp may have been open to such advice.
He has plenty of time to sleep now. Of course, this cure for the Hudson head boys soccer coach’s insomnia could not have been more unwelcome.
The top-seeded Explorers’ 2019 season ended after losing a 4-2 decision to second-seeded Solon in the Solon Division I district final Saturday at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School.
As for Knapp, he didn’t mince words when it came to his team’s premature swan song.
"We picked a bad time to have our worst game of the year," Knapp said.
Sadly, this kind of ending has been somewhat commonplace in recent years.
It was Hudson’s second straight loss in the district championship game and third since Explorers head coach Steve Knapp took over in 2015.
On Saturday, just about everything went against his usually sublime squad.
Due to the rainy conditions and the Bees’ narrow field, Hudson never could get its aesthetically pleasing possession game going.
The Explorers settled for many long through balls and long shots from way beyond the Comets’ penalty box.
Oftentimes, those possessions ended with turnovers as Solon (13-5-1) frustrated Hudson throughout the afternoon with its pressure and physical play.
"They’re really fast; they’re strong; we’re playing on a really narrow field; and the elements didn’t help," Knapp said. "Not to make excuses because they were really good. Are touches weren’t good. Being able to play a possession game like we do, this doesn’t help us."
Since the Explorers rely so much on several one-touch passes and playing to space, the wet conditions, narrow pitch and some aggressive members of the Comets, thwarted their usually high-powered attack.
"The rain does not help us," Knapp said. "The ball is skipping and they [the Comets] closed everything down. It’s just really hard to play on a really narrow field and it’s really hard to play when our first touch isn’t very good."
Solon also had a dynamic duo that simply couldn’t be contained.
Seniors Ethan Berkovitz, a midfielder, and Billy Furlong, a forward, scored two goals apiece for the Comets, who led 3-0 at one point.
Hudson (11-5-3) finally got on the board a little more than 11 minutes into the second half when senior center back Peyton Koscho scored.
But Berkovitz’s second goal of the game near the seven-minute mark was the backbreaker for the Explorers.
Koscho added a second goal in a scrum late in the game, but it turned out to be immaterial for Hudson.
Solon controlled possession much of the way and neutralized the Explorers’ passing game. The Comets had a 5-2 edge in corner kicks.
Play wasn’t particularly gentle either.
Both teams weren’t afraid to mix it up as bodies collapsed rather violently to the damp turf throughout the match. As a result, the sight of the referee’s hand raising a yellow card was pretty much the norm, particularly in the second half.
"We should have been stronger on the ball ourselves," Knapp said. "Our first touches should have been better. That would have eliminated some of that physicality. We put ourselves into some of that physicality with bad touches."
Knapp certainly doesn’t want one game to define his talented 2019 squad. Nevertheless, Saturday’s effort just didn’t cut it. Sure, mess happens, but even a forgettable two-hour scuffle in a miserable environment is still better than prolonged activity away from the pitch.
Or, as Paralympic snowboarder Amy Purdy once said, "For me, a bad day is when I have nothing going on."
"I just don’t like the fact that we really did not play well," Knapp said. "I can take losing the score line if we played our very best, but we didn’t. We just couldn’t do what we normally can do."
Knapp said goodbye to eight seniors, including Koscho and fellow captains Jarrett Widdoes (center midfielder) and Skanda Moorthy (midfielder/forward).
He also bid adieu to Ty Fulton (forward), Brad Gold (defender), Andres Berrios (forward), Mikey Dennis (forward) and Graham Alvarez (forward).
"They’ve given everything for four years," Knapp said. "We’re going to truly miss those guys."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @FrankAceto_RPC.