It was a moment of infamy for Cleveland fans.
Back in 1989, Michael Jordan, a great player who hadn’t yet reached GOAT status, drained a highly difficult, double-clutch jumper in traffic at the buzzer to lead the Chicago Bulls to a dramatic 101-100 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
It was the decisive fifth game and what made things even more brutal for those who bleed wine and gold was the fact that it took place at the now defunct Richfield Coliseum.
Some 30 years later, another dramatic shot caught the attention of a number of sports fans. This one also took place in the Buckeye State.
It probably won’t be televised on ESPN Classic anytime soon, but for those who support hunter green and white colors, this memorable shot is so legendary that you had to see it with your own eyes to believe it.
Megan Hovan’s eyes were wide open. Thus, the 2020 Western Reserve Academy graduate had her own "Air Jordan" moment.
Back in late September of last year, Hovan dropped everyone’s jaws during the final minutes in Mahoning County.
Unlike the six-time MVP, though, Hovan used her foot rather than her hands to deliver her breathtaking shot. It also took place on the pitch instead of the court.
With approximately six minutes left, Hovan smashed a shot from long distance over the Youngstown Cardinal Mooney goalie’s head and into the net.
As a result, the Pioneers earned a thrilling 1-0 victory, which paved the way to an eventual Tri-County League title for Reserve’s fearless girls soccer team.
And how far was that bomb?
"It was a 40-yard shot," Hovan said. "It was one of the most memorable and exciting goals to score in my lifetime. I will forever remember that I helped lead my team to a Tri-County League championship."
Some might argue that Hovan is short-changing herself. Her former coach sure does.
"It was 45 yards," Reserve head coach Kurt Krueger said.
Someday, WRA well-wishers could claim it was 50 yards. Perhaps as time moves forward, that distance will reach 55.
Either way, much like Mr. Jumpman himself, Hovan’s scintillating moment seemed to come down from the heavens.
"That was my most memorable WRA athletic experience," Hovan said.
That "athletic experience" isn’t anywhere close to being over either.
Hovan recently decided to continue her academic and soccer careers at Denison University, a private Division III liberal arts college in Granville.
The Hudson resident plans to major in health, exercise and sports studies and may consider a major in either math or education as well. Hovan chose the 930-acre campus over Miami University in Oxford, The College of Wooster and Fairfield (Connecticut), along with St. Lawrence and Ithaca, which both make their homes in New York.
"Denison University is one of the nation's top liberal arts colleges," Hovan said. "I chose to apply to Denison for many reasons, including their academic offerings, athletic opportunities, internship possibilities and their diverse alumni network."
Hovan is already quite an expert when it comes to diversity. She recently left Reserve as one of the most decorated athletes in school history.
Hovan scored 13 goals during her senior year and also was a major contributor on the Pioneers’ basketball and softball teams. She played one year of volleyball too.
The amount of letters she received eclipsed double digits at her favorite day college preparatory school that was founded in 1826. Hovan also was a captain multiple times and earned nearly as many team MVP awards as a certain Hall of Famer who made a comfortable living in the Windy City.
While she loved playing all of her sports during her days at Reserve, Hovan did her best work playing what many refer to as "the beautiful game."
She was the Tri-County Player of the Year in 2019 and also earned first-team Greater Akron Scholastic Coaches District recognition.
Believe it or not, launching bombs over goalies’ heads wasn’t in the cards for Hovan when she first played at WRA. Instead, her mission was to deactivate those devices rather than causing them to explode.
"Megan started her career playing in the back and then, after a year off to play volleyball, she returned and moved up front," Krueger said. "We chose to play her as a classic back to goal striker.
"While she has imposing size and strength, she also possesses good speed. With her dedication to learning the game, she improved dramatically. Last fall, with a significantly improved and seasoned team behind her, she became the tip of the spear for us."
That "tip of the spear" will miss going to war with her companions. Thanks to her body of work throughout her four years in both athletics and academics, Hovan became quite a "Pioneer" on a campus full of them.
"Playing for Reserve was a rewarding experience and it was competitive," Hovan said. "I had many opportunities to meet new people, build relationships with teammates and coaches and to learn and practice strong leadership skills along the way.
"One big lesson I took away from playing at Reserve is, it’s not just about the sport. It’s about having good character and growing as a person.
"Being a student at Reserve can be challenging at times, however; it is your path with a little help and guidance along the way from faculty, staff, advisory, friends and family."
One of those friends is Krueger, who helped to transform Hovan from a solid defender into a goal-scoring terror.
"Coach Kurt is, by far, one of the best coaches I have ever had," Hovan said. "He has a strong work ethic, which he instills in his players and he has an unwavering drive and willingness to play and win the game of soccer.
"You’re one lucky player if you get to be coached by him. He’s strict, motivating, smart, inspirational, highly skilled and has a command of coaching."
In all aspects of life, a good commander is only as good as his troops. Fortunately for Krueger, he had the ultimate "trouper" by his side.
"Meg has a very strong will and a palpable determination to succeed," Krueger said. "She was one of the driving forces that helped us overachieve most of the year.
"She is a naturally strong and outspoken leader who also possesses the ability to show empathy and compassion to her teammates, which made her pretty popular with her teammates and the staff.
"She's the rare combination of vocal as well as a lead-by-example leader. She always put in an honest effort in every game. That said, she hasn't even scratched the surface of her ability and as she matures and comes to learn even more about the game, she should be fantastic in college."
With that being said, could more Jordanesque moments be in store for Hovan? Her new team will be more than happy to make them possible.
The Big Red finished 8-7-4 overall and 5-2-1 in the North Coast Athletic Conference last year. If she wins more championships in college, it will be the icing on the cake for a career that has been filled with majesty.
Just like a fellow deadly shooter once known as "His Airness."
"I’ve been playing soccer my whole life and I’ve always loved it, but I truly fell in love with it during my time at Reserve," Hovan said. "When this past season came to an end, I realized how much I wanted to continue to play the game. Coach Kurt had a big impact on my love for the game. I'm ready to open the door for college athletics and see where it brings me."
Reporter Frank Aceto can be reached at 330-541-9444, email@example.com or @Faceto_Gannett.