Twinsburg girls soccer gears up for postseason run

Steve Batko
Twinsburg captain Sammi DiMuzio kicks the ball ahead during a game against Stow-Munroe Falls earlier this season.

Getting some key athletes back, the Twinsburg girls soccer squad is looking forward to the post season.

The Tigers (10-3-3) finished in second place in the Suburban League National Conference this season with a mark of 4-1-2.

Focusing on the extra season, head coach John Garber was glad to see his club post an impressive 4-0 non-league home win over Grafton Midview Oct. 17.

“We finished the regular season up on Saturday against a tough Midview team that was conference champions,” said Garber.

The Middies (11-4-1) won the Southwest Conference league championship over quality programs from Avon, Avon Lake and Amherst.

However, staunch defense from the Tigers held Midview in check.

Twinsburg’s defense has been strong and Garber was glad to have talented sophomore keeper Alexis Cellura back as well as sophomore midfielder Brenna Utrup.

“Alexis has been impressive in goal, earning eight shutouts,” said Garber. “She is now able to return to play after being issued a straight red card against Hudson in the opening 10 minutes of that game.”

Although that red card may have been a bit harsh by the referee, Cellura didn’t see action in a couple of games.

“Alexis was not able to play against Magnificat or Brunswick,” said Garber, whose club was upended by state-ranked Brunswick 4-0 on Oct. 12 on the road.

Senior Madi Kostal highlighted the victory for the Tigers over Midview with two goals.

Utrup also had a goal as did sophomore Jadyn Harris.

“Brenna (Utrup) has missed the past three games, due to injury, is healthy enough to return,” said Garber, who looks to have better health for the post season.

Twinsburg earned the fourth seed in the Northeast super district in Division I.

The Tigers received a first-round bye and opens up in round two on Oct. 22 at 6 p.m. by hosting the winner between 21st seed Chardon and Painesville Riverside, seeded 27th.

If Twinsburg wins, they will play Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. North Canton Hoover (11th) is the top seed side of the bracket.

“As always, the district is very challenging,” said Garber, as Chardon has solid tradition.

“We have played a very competitive and challenging schedule,” added Garber. “We are looking forward to our first-round match.”

Losing to Brunswick saw the Lady Tigers play superb early on.

Prolific scorer and school record holder Jordyn Wickes was held in check by the Tiger defense, but Wickes broke loose in the final 20 minutes.

Wickes, who broke the school mark with five goals in a game this fall, exploded for four goals for Brunswick in the last 20 minutes.

“The Brunswick match was a tale of two halves as we played very well during the first half,” explained Garber. “We had numerous chances to score. We hit the crossbar, put

a shot off the post, and had several corner kicks that produced excellent goal-scoring opportunities.”

“Unfortunately, we didn’t capitalize,” added Garber.

There was back and forth action against Brunswick, ranked eighth in Ohio in Division I.

“The second 20 minutes of the second half was back and forth, however, Wickes was able to score four unanswered goals during the final 20 minutes of play,” said Garber.

“She (Wickes) is a talented player, one of the best in the area,” he added. “I thought that our marking was solid, however, she hit three really well-taken long-range shots on goal that ended up in the back of the net. Brunswick is a very organized and dangerous team.”

By virtue of the eight shutouts against quality competition, Garber has been elated with his defense.

“We have had steady play from our starting back four all year, including seniors Tara Gairing (captain) and Liv Eglar as well as juniors Paige Hepke and Erika Davis,” he said.

“Contributing valuable minutes in the backline includes senior Jessica Davis and junior Avery Elias, plus junior Elliotte Schneeman has done well filling in for Alexis, earning a tie against Hudson and a win over Magnificat.”

Garber also praised his midfield leaders this season.

He noted that Utrup, Lana Furniss (senior captain), Klaire Weinroth (sophomore), Olivia Zelenka (sophomore), and Sammi Dimuzio (senior captain) have done the bulk of the work while Grace Novak (junior), Mia Blackburn (senior), and Haley Boger (senior) have also contributed meaningful minutes in the midfield this fall.

The Tiger staff is also high on their youthful attack.

“Our attack has been led by Jadyn (Harris), junior Emily Patrzyk, and sophomore Arriah Gilmer,” stated Garber.

Patrzyk has a team high 24 points, including a team-best 10 goals and four assists.

Harris is a threat as she has 19 points on six goals and a team-high seven assists.

A young talent, Gilmer has 16 points on seven goals and two assists.

“Seniors Madi Kostal and Jordan Johnston, along with junior Akira Johnson have contributed to our attack this season,” said Garber.

Junior defender Carolyn Adick unfortunately suffered a season-ending knee injury earlier this year.

“Carolyn played well for us during the Nordonia and Mentor matches,” noted the coach.

In the win over Midview, assists were credited to Patrzyk, Gilmer, and Johnston.