MEDINA — Justus was served Thursday night at Medina Memorial Stadium.
Senior forward Justus Kendel had a pair of second-half goals to wrap up an efficient 3-0 victory over MedinaCounty rival Highland in non-league action.
Despite the Hornets having the edge in possession, the Bees’ ability to take advantage of every opportunity proved to be the deciding factor.
Kendel was in the middle of it all, as the savvy striker knows how to benefit from any chance he gets. With the Bees (4-0-0) already up 1-0 after a quick goal from sophomore Brad Fogel, Kendel executed probably one of the best insurance goals of the young season.
Just eight minutes in the second half, Fogel crossed a ball from the outside that Kendel dived into head-first from near the top of the box.
“He’s a hard worker and very opportunistic,” Medina coach Simon Spelling said. “Sometimes he misses them from 3 yards, and sometimes he does diving headers into the upper 90, and today was a quality goal. You wouldn’t see a goal like that in the EPL (English Premier League). It was great.”
Not too shabby for Kendel’s first career goal.
“At the time, it was almost like second nature,” he said. “You just know what you’re doing, and you’re trying to get it in the back of the net.
“I saw Brad and he was taking it down the side, and I was confident in him and his ability to get it over there. So I made sure that I was in the right spot at the right time.”
That was Medina’s blueprint, as it didn’t need long possessions or fancy footwork in the midfield.
It just finished.
The Bees smacked the Hornets in the mouth in the opening minutes when Jim Meyer was able to flick the ball over to Fogel, who found the back post on one of just two shots on goal in the opening half.
That didn’t matter, however, as Kendel followed with his highlight-reel header for another score, this time taking a feed from midfielder Nick Manhoff before punching it past Hornets goalkeeper Adam Spiros (3 saves).
“You just have to take advantage of your chances and capitalize on them,” Kendel said. “They had a few shots here or there, but the difference was that we finished.”
While the attack was doing its job, Medina’s defense made the lead stand up by causing havoc and limiting Highland to just a handful of quality looks despite all the time the Hornets spent with the ball
“I can’t give you a good answer,” Highland coach Bob Sefcik said. “I thought we definitely saw some progress, especially with being able to control the ball, but the biggest letdown on our end was that next step. In soccer terms, it’s getting to the next level and how we get there. I think it’s with a little bit of time and a little more training.”
All three Highland shot attempts were thwarted by junior goalie Tyler Vogrin, who registered his third shutout of the season. Vogrin’s best stop came late in regulation when he came off his line and knocked away an attempt from All-Gazette forward Logan Davis.
“We had some problems in the preseason and the first half against (St. Vincent-St. Mary) to open the season, but since then we’ve had 280 minutes and one second without giving away a goal,” Spelling said. “That makes it easier to win games, so from that standpoint it’s a compliment to the back five.
“We were fortunate that we had some good chances and we took the first chance, which was good, but I don’t think overall that Highland deserved to lose 3-0. They played a lot better than the score suggests and we scored two good goals in the second half.”
|Freshman Mason Deluca found the back post for the eventual game-deciding goal as Medina’s junior varsity outlasted Highland 2-1. Junior Josh Ailiff had the other score for the Bees, while Collin Fink had the Hornets’ goal.|
Contact Dan Brown at email@example.com.
Medina 3, Highland 0
HIGHLAND 0 0 — 0
MEDINA 1 2 — 3
M — Brad Fogel (Jim Meyer), 32:59.
M — Justus Kendel (Fogel), 32:09.
M — Kendel (Nick Manoff), 20:52.
Shots on goal — Highland 3, Medina 7. Corner kicks — Highland 5, Medina 5. Saves — Adam Spiros (H) 3, Tyler Vogrin (M) 3. Records — Highland (2-1), Medina (4-0). Junior varsity —Medina 2, Highland 1.