Despite being up 1-0 early in the first half, Rocky River head coach Patrick Hopkins was hoping something would spark his Pirates on to bigger and better things.
Then it happened.
A goal from visiting Olmsted Falls not only tied the game, it ignited a fire under the Pirates. They answered quickly with a pair of goals and maintained the lead the rest of the way in a 3-1 win over the Bulldogs Monday night.
“It was as if we were waiting for somebody to do something,” Hopkins said of his team’s performance early on. “We weren’t going to the goal. We needed to do a lot more in the attacking third and put more pressure on their keeper.
“When Falls scored, our intensity picked up. People started talking and we started to increase the pressure by going to the goal,” he added.
The result was a pair of goals by Hallie McCue off assists from Grace Bennett, giving River a 3-1 lead at the half. The offensive pressure continued, with several shots off the post and one hitting the crossbar. Despite not scoring another goal, Hopkins was pleased with his team’s aggressiveness.
“We regained the lead about two minutes after they tied it,” Hopkins said. I think for the first time this season, we played to our potential and showed people what we can do.”
Stephanie Davis scored River’s first goal 10 minutes into the game off an assist from McKenna Klodnick.
With the win, the Pirates moved to 3-0-1 on the season. Last Saturday, River got its second win of the season with a 4-0 win over St. Joseph Academy. Sarah Molina, Hallie and Hannah McCue and Davis scored the Pirate goal, while Kim Leitch had six saves for her 24th career shutout.
Westlake girls fall short at Copley
The Indians scored the only goal of the game in the seventh minute in a 1-0 win over visiting Westlake. The Demons outshot their hosts, 15-7, but couldn’t find the back of the net, said head coach Scott Jones.
“They scored off a corner and controlled the game the rest of the way,” Jones said during the return trip home. “We played pretty well, we just couldn’t score.
“We had multiple opportunities to score, especially in the second half,” Jones said. “We had good looks, good chances. Copley has a very nice team, though, and they’re very fast. They did everything they needed to do to protect the lead and get the win.”
Keeper Alexis Carpenter had four saves as the Demons fell to 1-1-1. They travel to Avon Lake Wednesday night to take on the defending Southwestern Conference champions.
Physical Lakewood squad blanks River boys
Host Lakewood outshot the Pirates 20-6 and dominated play in a 5-0 win at Ranger Stadium. With the loss, River fell to 1-1-1 on the season.
“They dominated possession most of the game,” said head coach Kevin Zerbey. “They were bigger and more physical than we were, and that really made a difference. It was very hard to get the ball from them.
“We haven’t seen a team like that in some time, and I’m not sure we will the rest of this season,” he added.
Dominic Liva had 10 saves for the Pirates, who travel to Vermilion Wednesday for a West Shore Conference game.
Demons get back on winning track
The Westlake boys moved to 2-1 on the season Saturday night with a 2-0 win over Mentor at Reed Field. Goals by Tyler Sedam and Mark Sutcliffe proved enough to defeat the visiting Cardinals. Keeper Alec Farrell had three saves for the shutout.
Eagles fall short against unbeaten Mayfield
North Olmsted got a goal from J.J. Ball, but it wasn’t enough in a 2-1 loss to visiting Mayfield Saturday night. The Eagles fell to 1-2 on the season.
Rockets still seeking first win
Bay, still looking for its first goal goal of the season, traveled to Columbus Saturday night and came back with a 2-0 loss to DeSales.
The Rockets gave up a goal midway through the first half, and nearly tied it later in the half as a shot hit the crossbar. In the second half, DeSales scored its second goal off a penalty kick with 15 minutes left in the game.