September 17, 2014

Medina
Partly sunny
62°F

Girls soccer: Blue Devils build momentum

Brunswick’s girls soccer team is finding its momentum at the right time.

Entering Monday, the Blue Devils were 6-0-2 over their last eight games, including the program’s first win over Medina in 16 years.

Macey Juguilon has helped the Brunswick girls soccer team to get on a roll. (GAZETTE PHOTO BY RON SCHWANE)

Brunswick also clinched a share of its first Northeast Ohio Conference River Division title since 2008 and earned the top seed for next week’s Division I sectional/district.

“I just think it’s coming together and having that same goal,” Brunswick coach Scott Ward said. “Before it was what point might we quit or what point might we not compete. This team just hasn’t done that this year.”

The Devils have found chemistry with a balanced lineup that features Macey Juguilon, Sam Malleo, Nikki Shotzbarger and Gabby Maslowski.

But an unsung difference-maker might be 5-foot-3 goalkeeper Erin Calhoun, who had a 12-save night in a shutout win over the Bees.

“It’s her leadership talking from the back and in practice going 110 percent,” Ward said. “She’s a goalie that as a field player, when we do any of the drills, she’s very hard on herself and sets the tone for everyone else to play hard.”

Scoring drought

Medina boys coach Mark Malikowski and his staff know when the postseason tournament starts, the Bees will have to find a way to score. The team has just one loss, but also has 14 goals in 14 games and has played to six scoreless draws.

“We have one more week to figure it out,” Malikowski said. “After that we can’t be figuring it out anymore. We have to get it done.”

On the flip side, the Bees have allowed four goals and posted 11 clean sheets.

Impact player

When it comes to Wadsworth’s girls squad, everyone knows about Leah Runkle and Brooke Braman. But the area is also learning Sarah Berger can play.

“She’s such an offense threat coming out of the back that she makes people have to step up to defend her high, which opens up opportunities for other people,” Wadsworth coach Paul Williford said. “She’s our captain and it’s her heart and soul. She’s has the attitude on the field that you need to have and it pushes the other girls to do better.”

Smooth transition

Buckeye defender Shannon Peicu has been a key part of the backline this season, but the junior has shown her skills on the offensive end as well, scoring three goals over the last two games prior to Monday.

“She’s been picking on players one-on-one and beating them,” coach Bud Roberts said. “Her level of confidence has really grown.”

Injury report

Highland midfielder Corey Zelinski went down with a high ankle sprain in last week’s 2-0 win over Wadsworth. According to coach Bob Sefcik, the Hornets are hoping to have the senior back for the postseason.

• Dylan Castro made his return over the weekend in Brunswick’s 6-0 drubbing of Willoughby South. The senior, who sustained a head injury against Avon Lake, helped the Blue Devils to their sixth shutout.

Free kick

Medina will be without sophomore Bri Caccavale for the second straight game Wednesday when it plays North Royalton. The defender was issued a red card in a loss to Strongsville and served the first of her two-game suspension Monday vs. Holy Name.

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.