Karen Kase | The Gazette
COPLEY TWP. — It was a battle for Suburban League bragging rights Wednesday night at InfoCision Field at Copley Stadium.
The Wadsworth and Copley girls soccer teams came in undefeated in conference play, and whichever squad capitalized on its chances was likely to come out on top.
The well-played contest remained deadlocked until Copley’s Jordan Cotleur scored on a breakaway with 4:49 remaining to give the Indians a 1-0 victory. Cotleur won the ball just past midfield, then used her speed to beat the defense and approaching goalkeeper Hannah Centea.
“It was such a great run,” Indians coach Wally Senk said. “If you are going to run at somebody, run with urgency and break people down. And that’s what she did. We knew their keeper does pretty well with shots from the outside, so we tried to break it down and we were able to get one in.”
In possession of the ball and in its offensive third of the field for a good portion of the game, Copley (6-3-1, 4-0) attacked with multiple players and outshot its opponents 7-0 in shots on goal (10-5 overall).
Wadsworth (6-2-1, 3-1) and its defense stood firm for all but the one play. Centea played a key role in keeping her team in the game and made five official saves. She faced a flurry of activity, controlled her penalty box and thwarted countless other Copley attacks.
Centea was not alone, however, as she was helped by the entire defense and even the right goalpost on a Copley strike with 11:56 left.
Copley advanced the ball well through its midfield and tried to play through the center of the field many times, but Wadsworth’s backline helped shut down All-Ohio player Anna Haverchuk, who entered with eight goals and eight assists.
“The backline is the heart of our team, and if they are playing well and communicating, it feeds through the rest of us. They did an awesome job,” Wadsworth coach Paul Williford said. “Julia Horton, our sweeper, has done well as a sophomore of taking charge and she did a great job tonight.”
“We train from Day 1 with teams like Copley in mind,” Centea added. “We are evenly matched teams, but tonight they had the lucky hand. I can see everything from my position, so I have to help keep everyone organized. It starts with me and moves to our backline and then up the field. They scored on me, so I just see it as ‘do better’ and want to know how I could’ve approached the ball better on the shot.”
Wadsworth senior forward Leah Runkle recorded four of her team’s five shots on goal, but the Medina County scoring leader for the past two seasons has been stifled this week in 1-0 losses to Copley and Medina.
• Copley won the junior varsity contest 2-1. Mariah Braman scored for the Grizzlies.
• Copley’s coaching staff includes Medina graduate Karen (Knotts) Ransom, a two-time All-Gazette selection.
Contact Karen Kase at firstname.lastname@example.org.