Stow girls soccer makes early goal stick to beat Hudson

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies
Hudson's Maddie Coates heads the ball away on a Stow-Munroe Falls corner kick during the Explorers' 1-0 loss at Stow Sept. 30

STOW — By the recent standards of Stow-Munroe Falls and Hudson girl soccer, 2020 has been a bit of a down year.

No matter what the record are, however, one imperative for both teams remains winning their annual clash.

The styles may have changed for both teams this year, but the intensity was the same.

Stow-Munroe Falls goaltender Taylor Galiota punts the ball ahead during the Bulldogs' 1-0 home win over Hudson Sept. 30. Galioto had eight saves in the game to preserve the shutout.

Stow made a goal from sophomore Sophia Yoder stand up for the duration of the game, as the Bulldogs hung on for a 1-0 win over the Explorers Sept. 30 at Bulldog Stadium.

Stow picked up its first win in the Suburban League National Conference, improving to 4-5-2, 1-2-2 in the National Conference. Hudson dropped to 4-4-1, 1-3-1 in the National Confrrence.

Bulldogs coach Jim Dudones lauded his team's defensive effort, especially on the defensive side of the ball.

"Their effort was really terrific tonight," Dudones said. "Hudson has a great team. We knew that [Tori] Liesen was great talent. That shot in the first half proved it.

"It's always good to get a win in the league. It's always good to beat Hudson, because there's been such a rivalry that's been built up over the years."

Meanwhile, Hudson coach Caleb Fortune could only rue his team's misfortune in front of net.

"I think Stow was very well organized and did a great job on defense," Fortune said. "I though that we created chances, but we weren't able to finish them tonight."

Stow had been the victim of some early goals earlier this season, but this time the Bulldogs got off to the fast start.

After a Stow free kick banged into a wall of Hudson defenders in the second minute, Stow captain Sadie Lenc retrieved the ball and sent it back into the box.

Yoder was took the ball at the top of the box, turned and fired a low shot just beyond the reach of Hudson keeper Emma Liesen, giving Stow the 1-0 lead.

"We've switched our lineup around a bit and Sophia has really come on strong," Dudones said. "She had a goal on Saturday and a goal tonight, so hopefully she's warming up."

"I didn't want to dwell on it too much," Fortune said Stow's quick start. "I thought there was plenty of time. If you ever are to concede a goal, that was a good time to do it."

The duration of the first half was basically even, with both teams trying to play direct and counter attack.

Hudson nearly found the equalizer twice in the 33rd minute.

Tori Liesen hit a high shot, which rattled off the crossbar. On the rebound, Hudson sent a shot to the far post, only to have it parried by Galioto.

It was busy night for Galioto, but she proved up to the task, finishing with eight saves against nine Hudson shots on goal. Galioto also spent much of her time marshaling her penalty box, as she was not afraid to come off her line to break up through balls.

"Taylor and Sadie both had great games tonight," Dudones said. "That's the spine of the team right there. They did a great job keeping everybody organized."

"Their keeper was the MVP of the game to me," Fortune said.

Hudson came out firing in the second half and put several shots on net, but found their efforts frustrated by the Stow defense.

"There weren't any clear-cut chances in the box," Fortune said. "We took a lot of shots from distance, but we couldn't get anything going. I felt like the intensity wasn't there for us in the first half, but it picked up in the second."

With Hudson constantly pressing forward, the Bulldogs were able to get some counter attack chances in the second half. Yoder nearly doubled her tally in the 75th minute but the ball blazed just wide.

"We did just enough on defense tonight to hold them at bay," Dudones said. "I think we had just enough possession to keep them honest and not have them throw everything at us."

In the end, Hudson finished with a 9-5 edge in shots on goal and a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.

The Explorers last real chance came in the 74th minute when Tori Liesen was able to get loose down the left side. However, Liesen was denied on a diving save by Galioto.

Emma Liesen finished with four saves on the night for Hudson.