Twinsburg boys soccer shows positives in draw with North Royalton

Steve Batko
Correspondent

Although the outcome would have been better with a win, head coach Mike Lally saw a lot of positives in a physical 1-1 league tie against North Royalton.

As the schedule becomes more demanding, the tie on the road at North Royalton (1-1-3) held some value as the Bears are a physical club.

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At the 51st minute in the second half, a scoreless tie was broken by the Bears’ Aiden Kane, who was able to receive the ball behind the Tiger defense at the top right of the box on the volley, make a cut to the middle and score to make it 1-0.

“We took their first punch, but we picked ourselves up, grinded out a physical league game on the road and we delivered a punch as well,” said Lally.

“North Royalton went to a 4-5-1 set and pressed us, and got a goal off a long volley,” he added as Twinsburg moved to 5-0-1.

Off a corner kick, Tiger senior Ian Rader delivered the ball and freshman Tate Lowry scored his first varsity goal on a ball that traveled off a few players before finding the back of the net past keeper Ben Payne.

“Ian hit a lovely ball to Lowry, who scored his first goal as a varsity player,” said Lally, who added, “Normally, Tate would be our Man of the Match, but (junior keeper) Connor Stuchal made two great saves for us.”

“Stuchal only had three saves, but those two were great,” added the coach.

The Bears’ Max Bunsey had a great scoring chance on a cross with 3:00 left, but Stuchal denied the goal attempt.

“It was clearly a typical Suburban League with a lot of physicality and while we owned a lot of possession in the first half, North Royalton disrupted our passing lanes and it got physical,” said Lally.

Rader nearly had a goal early on as Lally gave credit on possession to junior Uleto Fuentes, senior Daniel Silva, and junior Cameron Griffin.

Lally also praised the back line for its play in the first half. This group included senior Jason Karhoff, junior Connor Carroll, senior David Gebeau and Lowry.

“It was disappointing, but our seniors showed leadership and we settled in and played more direct in the second half,” said Lally.

Junior Jacob D’Isidoro sparked the Tigers off the bench while Lally also gave credit to senior Nate Rotko, senior Gavin May and junior Matt Aspinall.

Twinsburg was dangerous in a 5-2 home win Sept. 12 over Mentor, who was ranked seventh at the time in the Greater Cleveland Coaches Poll. In all, the hosts had 12 shots.

Senior Nathan Glessman was the team’s Man of the Match as Glessman had two second half goals.

“Glessman’s effort and energy has really improved and he has become more of a complete player for us,” Lally said.

Fuentes had two goals and one assist.

“Uleto made a brilliant run for us and then had a penalty kick,” said Lally, who also praised junior Shantonu Banerjee, senior Will Krajcirik, senior Danny Ketz, and Gebeau.

Rader had one goal while Silva, Carroll, and Griffin each had one assist. Junior Josh Mikulka had three saves in the net.