MEDINA — Medina girls soccer coach Doug Coreno puts out a schedule that doesn’t allow coasting.
So when Westerville North scored an apparent tying goal on Saturday, it woke the Bees up a bit and eventually turned into a 4-1 non-league win.
The Bees (8-0) were up 2-1 and on cruise control when Genelle Castro scored what looked to be a game-knotting goal for the Warriors (5-4). But the junior forward was ruled offsides and Medina, which has won 20 games in a row, went into action.
“That definitely woke us up,” Medina forward/midfielder Jillian Graff said. “It made us ready.”
The Bees responded with a goal by Graff and another by Kelsey Nemeth to put things away. With games against Akron Hoban and Brecksville coming up, it was exactly what Coreno wanted to wake up a team that hasn’t tasted a loss in 28 contests.
“You have to give credit to Westerville North,” Coreno said. “It could have easily been 2-2 with 20 minutes left, but we kept our composure and didn’t get rattled.”
When Graff took a pass from Grace Ferut and beat North keeper Kayla Angermeier to her right 27:06 into the second half, it sent a shockwave through the Warriors.
A one-goal deficit had North thinking big, but when Graff scored, it put things out of reach.
“It was huge,” Coreno said. “The goal more took the wind out of their sails than it pumped us up.
“We’ve been in tough games before, but the thing we learned today was that we have to play a full 80 minutes. We can’t take breaks.”
While Bees keeper Taylor Burke wasn’t happy about giving up her second goal of the season, she wasn’t upset about being tested.
Strongsville, Copley and North Royalton gave the Bees scares this season, but the Warriors actually got the heart pumping a little bit harder.
Burke, who hasn’t given up more than one goal in one-plus seasons, gave up one on a beautiful cross from Hope Wood to Allie Sieradzki.
It was the last time North threatened as the defense tightened and Medina prevailed.
“It was good for us to play the entire duration,” Burke said. “We have to stay strong for 80 minutes.
“We can’t play just half a game. Both (this week’s) games will be the key to the season. It’ll help prepare us for the playoffs. But having four goals today helped in the end.”
The Bees were playing shorthanded, as Maura Gorman (injured), Sydney Thomas (injured), Anna Boyert (cross country meet) and Beth Lang (team violation) missed the game. Jen Jankowski (knee) went down early in the first half as well, leaving Medina minus a few sets of feet.
“This one showed the depth of our team,” Coreno said.