April 16, 2014

Medina
Mostly sunny
41°F

Strong defense helps Medina’s Burke get her 14th straight shutout

MEDINA — Taylor Burke admits to sometimes singing to herself.

Who can blame the Medina goalkeeper? When there are games like Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Wadsworth, there’s little else for the senior to do.

Medina’s Maura Gorman kicks around Wadsworth’s Hannah Centea in the second half. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Medina’s Maura Gorman kicks around Wadsworth’s Hannah Centea in the second half. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

The Grizzlies (0-1) got just one shot on net in a stellar effort from the defensive line of Nicolle Varney, Ali Kovarik, Grace Ferut, Anna Boyert and Marisa Scullin.

“It’s a good thing when I have a boring game,” Burke said. “You have to stay alert, but I owe it all to the defense. It’s nice when it’s nothing more than a ball rolling back to me because of the defense. I try to pay attention every second, but sometimes (the singing) happens.”

While Burke has made her share of incredible saves, an equally incredible streak lived on as she recorded her 14th straight shutout for the Bees (2-0).

The last time she allowed a goal was Oct. 17. That’s 1,153 minutes, 45 seconds of game time.

And that one came with an asterisk, as Walsh’s Kelsey Smigel sent a shot past a diving Burke, who slipped on the pitch.

Fast forward to Tuesday and it was another stonewall effort from Medina’s defense. If not for a shot by Brittany Fullbright 17 minutes into things, Wadsworth wouldn’t have challenged Burke at all.

“They’re very strong,” Medina coach Doug Coreno said of his defenders. “It seems whoever we throw on the back line comes up big.”

Much like Monday’s game against Copley, the Bees scored in bunches. Against the Indians it came in a four-goal swing over a span of 7:11. Against the Griz­zlies, the three goals came in 98 seconds.

It started on a penalty kick from Jillian Graff 11:13 into the second half, continued on another penalty kick from Graff 20 seconds later and finished on a goal by Varney off a direct kick from Kovarik.

“It’s like once we get moving, we have the confi­dence to get more,” Graff said. “It only takes one thing, and then things get rolling.”

While the Bees’ lack of first-half scoring — they haven’t had a goal in the first two games — is some­thing Coreno isn’t pleased with, he is happy with the effort.

“It shows we’re capable of exploding at any time,” he said. “We need to be more consistent, but it shows how dangerous we are when we are clicking on all cylinders.”

All wasn’t lost for Wadsworth despite the three-goal deficit.“We were able to compete with one of the best teams in the state,” Wadsworth coach Ron Mendel said. “And it was our first game of the season. We can grow from this. We’ll come back tomorrow and start fighting.”

Note

Wadsworth’s junior varsity got a measure of revenge with a 3-2 win over the Bees. Emily Drown broke a 2-2 tie with 11:09 left to lift Wadsworth.

Contact Brad Bournival at sports@medina-gazette.com.