Hudson girls soccer rebounds from loss by routing Copley

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies
Hudson captain Ally Campanella controls the ball during the Explorers' 2-0 home loss to Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sept. 2.

COPLEY — COVID-19 has forced a staggered start to the high school soccer season due to different reopening plans with each school district.

While some schools have been playing soccer for weeks, others are just now hitting the pitch, often without playing any scrimmages to prepare.

Such was the case when Hudson visited Copley Sept. 5 as the Explorers took advantage playing against the Indians in their season opener

Hudson played its most complete game of the young season, making most of their scoring chances in a 5-0 win. The Explorers improved to 2-1.

Hudson didn't come into the game with much momentum as coach Caleb Fortune noted his team played poorly in a 2-0 home to Brecksville-Broadview Heights Sept. 2.

"We talked after that game how we had so many tools, but we weren't using them," Fortune said. "[Brecksville] was the better team that game. For us, the game might be the best thing to happen to us, though."

Hudson's Sam Collins fights for a high ball during the Explorers' 2-0 home loss Sept. 4 to Brecksville-Broadview Heights.

Fortune said Hudson's performance against the Indians was a compete rebound from the Brecksville loss.

"I think we showed different sides of ourselves tonight," Fortune said. "We showed we could play on the counterattack, as well as possess the ball. All the questions that we had after the last game were answered tonight."

Meanwhile, Copley coach Wally Senk knew his team could be in for a rough opener. The Indians started nine underclassmen in the game after losing a senior class the included two Division I college recruits.

"We knew coming in we were going to have a tough test," Senk said. "I don't know if 5-0 is the correct score based on how we played. We kind of dominated possession in the first half."

Senk acknowledged the biggest reason for the outcome was Hudson converted its scoring chances, while Copley did not.

"They capitalized and we didn't," Senk said. "They had two really good players. That is a great team for us to play against."

Hudson got off to a quick start, thanks to its senior strikers.

In the ninth minute, forward Tori Liesen sprinted through the channel on the left side of a nice pass from Ally Campanella. Liesen lofted a shot over Copley goaltender Michele Hofaker and into the net.

Copley had its chances in the first half, but Hudson showed some great covering runs on defense as well as good hands from goalkeeper Emma Liesen.

The younger Liesen sister finished with five saves on the night.

However, Emma Liesen also was involved in the scariest moment of the game for Hudson when she collided with a Copley forward in the 61st minute and stayed down.

Liesen was carted off the field with a leg injury, but Fortune noted the injury appeared to be minor. Senior Mack Pierce came on in goal for Hudson and made one save to help preserve the shutout.

Hudson got its second goal thanks to a pure hustle play.

In the 34th minute, Copley's defense made a slow back pass into its own box. Hudson midfielder Sam Collins stole the ball from a defender in the six-yard box and slid an angled shot just over the line.

While Hudson led 2-0 at the half, Copley actually had a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal in the first 40 minutes.

In the second half, however, Hudson offense seemed to come in waves.

In the 47th, Hudson's Lauren Pasci sent a through ball down the right channel, which allowed Reagen Miele to sprint past Copley's defense and put a low shot into the net.

Perhaps the best goal of the night came from on unlikely source. In the 69th minute, Hudson defender Olivia Greenbaum got the ball in her own end and dribbled down the left sideline.

Greenbaum outran several Copley defenders before a smashing a low shot into the net after her 70-yard run.

Miele would complete the scoring two minutes later when she stole a ball from the Copley defense, sprinted on net and put a low shot home.

Hudson finished with an 11-6 edge in shots goal and an a 4-0 edge in corner kicks.

Copley goaltender Michele Hofacker finished with five saves as Hudson also had one shot bang off the woodwork.