Tallmadge boys soccer takes its chances to eliminate Streetsboro

Michael Leonard
Kent Weeklies

STREETSBORO — Although Streetsboro boys soccer has not reached the heights of its female counterparts this fall, Rockets coach Paul Krzeminski noted his team was "moving in the right direction."

Eight win on the season helped the Rockets host their opening round Division II playoff game. However, while Tallmadge came into the playoffs under .500, both coaches noted the Blue Devils had played a much tougher schedule.

Tallmadge's quality came out during their first-round match Oct. 20 at Quinn Field.

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The Blue Devils converted nearly every scoring chance they had, scoring a 4-1 win to eliminate the Rockets.

Tallmadge improved to 5-7-3. With the win, Tallmadge earned another shot at Suburban League American Conference rival Aurora, who smashed Jefferson Area 11-0 Oct. 20. The sectional final was set for Oct. 24 at 4 p.m.

Streetsboro finished its season at 8-6-3.

Tallmadge coach David Shahata praised his team for sticking to its gameplan.

"This game especially, we were able to play hard and keep things tight," Shahata said. "The boys executed well. We hadn't beaten Streetsboro before, so this is a good win."

Meanwhile, Krzeminski noted the Rockets' season-long struggles on offense came back to bite them.

"We were anemic in the offensive third," Krzeminski said. "We've had our struggles this season putting the ball in the net. I think our goals for and goals against is about even.

"I graduate one boy this year [senior Mason Kamlowsky]," he added. "We should have some great experience coming back and a talented freshman class coming up. There's a bright future ahead."

Streetsboro spent long periods of time in the Blue Devils' end of the field, particularly in the second half, but was unable to convert that possession advantage into goals.

One telling statistic was Streetsboro finished with a 6-5 edge in shots on a goal, but Tallmadge put their shots in, including both shots on goal in the first half.

Tallmadge opened the scoring with a scrappy goal in the eighth minute. Off a throw-in from the left side, Tallmadge junior Ben Hudak beat his marker to the bounce ball, got forward and put his shot home at point-blank range.

After that scrappy goal, Tallmadge doubled it advantage in the 25th minute with beautiful goal.

Tallmadge's Gavin West was able to collect the ball in middle of the field and slide a pass to Aaron Krunkemeyer, who was sprinting up left side.

Krunkemeyer smashed a shot across the face of goal and just off Stretesboro goaltender Matthew Burks' fingertips, making it 2-0.

Tallmadge kept the game at 2-0 at the halftime, as sustained pressure from the Rockets yielded one one shot on goal. Blue Devils goaltender Jamysen Montgomery finished with five save and marshaled his area well.

"I'm just proud of the boys," Shahata said. "Jamysen is a special player and he showed it tonight."

"They came at us just the way we though they would," Krzeminski said. "They're a fast and physical team. We knew what we were up against."

A crazy bounce of the ball allowed Tallmadge to make it a 3-0 in the 55th minute.

After a free kick from the near side, Burks charged off his line, only to have the ball bounce over his head when he came for it. Tallmadge's Will Hudak was able to head the ball into the open net.

Streesboro's offensive pressure was constant during the final 25 minutes of the game and the Rockets' finally found a way through in the 68th minute.

Off a deflected pass to the right side of the field, Rocket sophomore Taeven Genovese unleashed a laser shot into the left side of net, past a diving Montgomery.

The Rockets pressed often their defensive line up in midfield in the final 10 minutes of the game as it looked to find another goal.

However, Tallmadge would end all doubt in the contest in the 76th minute, thanks to brilliant run from West.

Taking a through ball from about 30 yards out, West was able to split a pair of Streetsboro defenders, going one-on-one with Burks and slide a ball under him to make it 4-1.

Tallmadge finished with a 3-0 edge in corner kicks, but also committed 17 fouls to Streetsboro's nine.