Nordonia girls soccer continues hot start by dominating Woodridge

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies
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MACEDONIA — The newly-formed Metro Athletic Conference has some solid girls soccer programs, but the Suburban League has the reputation of being one of the best girls soccer leagues in the states.

When MAC member Woodridge made the trek to Suburban National Conference stalwart Nordonia Sept. 5, the disparity in competition levels showed itself.

Nordonia took command from the opening kickoff and dominated the first half before coasting home with a 6-0 win over the Bulldogs.

Combined with a 3-1 home win over Wadsworth Sept. 2, Nordonia improved to 4-1, 1-1 in the National Conference, while Woodridge dropped to 1-3.

Nordonia coach Les Gicei said he was happy his entire team was able to get some work in ahead of its critical league match at Hudson Sept. 9.

"We've been on the other end of games like this before," Gicei said. "They had some injuries, so it's a tough situation. We were able to work on a lot of things and get a lot of girls in today."

Woodridge was without its normal starting forwards with Bella Paratore and Abby Bergdorf out due to injuries. Woodridge coach Jason Allenspach noted captain Maddie Karlo has been dealing with a leg injury as well.

Allenspach noted it would have been hard enough to deal with Nordonia if Woodridge were at full strength.

"Nordonia, they've got some special players and they've got a lot of them," Allenspach said. "They could do whatever they wanted and we knew it.

"Our girls played a little scared today," he added. "When we had the ball, we played panicked as individuals. We either took one quick touch or too many touches."

Nordonia pressed forward from the opening whistle with midfielder Sam Wiehe and forward Athena Kolettis routinely running past Woodridge defenders.

Wiehe unlocked Woodridge's defense in the third minute, sending a through ball into freshman Kayla Wosnck, who shot it past Woodridge goalie Emma Stejekenburg.

In the eighth minute, Wiehe took care of business herself, sending a shot from the top of the box into the upper left corner of the net.

Wiehe finished with two goals and two assists, despite not playing a minute of the second half.

"She's been a holding midfield for the last two years, but she knows when to come forward," Gicei said. "She reads the game so well. She could have come forward a lot more."

Kolettis made it 3-0 in the 19th minute, running onto a through ball from Grace Koperna. She shot a low ball into the net.

Wiehe helped Nordonia get two more before halftime. First, she made a nice run down the sideline and slid a square ball to freshman Brooklyn Johnson to put it home in the 33rd minute.

Then, Wiehe got her second goal in the 35th minute off another long run, making it 5-0 at halftime.

Woodridge was under siege for the entire first half, rarely pushing the ball past midfield, while Nordonia had a 12-0 edge in shots on goal.

"Our girls hammered it out at halftime and were able to play a much better second half," Allenspach said.

Things were more even after the half, with each team registering one shot on goal. However, It was Nordonia who scored the lone second half goal, as Koperna made a nice cut in the box and tucked a shot just inside the left post.

Gicei emptied his bench from there.

"We were trying to work on switching the ball and getting a lot of girls time today," Gicei said. "I'm glad we got so many to contribute.

Stekelenburg finished with five saves as Nordonia hit the woodwork twice in game. The Knights also finished with a 5-0 edge in corner kicks.

Woodridge will return to MAC action Sept. 9 at Akron Springfield.