WESTFIELD TWP. — Highland’s boys soccer team gave a wholehearted effort and half its shots found the back of the net.
By the time the turf settled on Tuesday, the Hornets had walked away with a 7-0 Suburban League win over Cloverleaf.
The victory kept the Hornets (6-0-1, 3-0) in a three-way tie with Wadsworth and Revere atop the conference standings and opened the eyes of their toughest critic.
“The last few games, we’re more focused on the smaller details,” Highland coach Billy Zufall said. “You see the shots, but it’s the preparation touch that sets it up. You can’t ask for much more. I couldn’t be more proud.”
The Hornets peppered the Colts (1-5-1, 1-2) with 14 shots and found the net regularly.
Anthony Double finished with a hat trick and added an assist. Jacob Naumann, Medina County’s leading scorer, tallied twice and added an assist. Steve Vetter scored once and had a helper and so did Matt Guzik.
By the time, Guzik took a pass from Tyler Ganzik to end the scoring, the Hornets were back to their winning ways — they tied Marlington last week to end a five-game streak— and were thinking about bigger things.
“We came out strong and got them scared,” Double said. “We were pretty confident at the beginning of the year, but we’ve gotten a lot better.”
The Hornets showed that mental fortitude in a five-minute span that saw them score three goals to put things out of reach just 25 minutes in. The clincher came when Naumann took a pass from Double to make it 3-0, virtually breaking the backs of Cloverleaf.
“When you get an early lead, they shut down,” Naumann said. “You bury them early and make a statement.
“The more games we win, the more we take the spotlight and we want that. We want people to realize we’re the team to beat. We want to be the ones undefeated teams look at.”
The Hornets had help from the staunch defensive efforts of Guzik, Ryan Sefcik, Ben Kitson, Andrew Killmeyer, Jordan Nassos, B.J. Frederick, Paul Burns and Jeff Hall.
Leaving Naumann and Double to do their business, the eight made sure Cloverleaf stayed under the gun, limiting the Colts to one shot in the first half— that came 36 minutes into the game— and just three for the night.
“We came out slow the first eight minutes and I didn’t fancy that,” Zufall said. “But we flipped the switch at the eight-minute mark and that led to five or six goals.”
“Their offense is better than any we’ve seen this year and Naumann is the single best player,” Sechrist said. “They have a lot of weapons and are very dangerous. To score seven times in 14 chances says they’re darn good.”
Contact Brad Bournival at firstname.lastname@example.org.