CVCA boys soccer routs Lakeview, reaches regional final

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by Steve Batko | Correspondent Team play and outstanding team defense enabled the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy boys soccer team to advance to the Division II regional championship. CVCA (13-6) was hoping for another deep run to states after a convincing 4-1 victory over Cortland Lakeview in a regional semifinal match at Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School Oct. 31. It was an impressive win over the high scoring Bulldogs (18-2) as CVCA continued a post season run that includes wins over Ohio's number one ranked club in Revere and a win over third-ranked Akron Hoban. "This group is committed to getting better every day and every game, and I think we did that against a well-organized team in Lakeview," said Royals head coach Jon Taylor. The Royals were set to play Hunting Valley University School in the regional Championship at Nordonia on Nov. 3, but results were not available as of press time. University School defeated Alliance 4-0 in a regional semifinal at Solon Oct. 31 to reach the title game. This year's Division II state semifinals are set for Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. at a site to be announced. The Division II state title game is set for Nov. 10 will be at Columbus Crew Stadium at 3:30 p.m. CVCA, ranked eighth in Ohio's final Division II poll, has captured Division III state championships in 2004 and 2010, which was the last time the Royals reached regional action. CVCA also won the Division II state title in 2007 "I think we are playing well as a team and you can see on the kids' faces that they enjoy playing together as a team," said Taylor about his Royals squad this post season. "The guys value each other and they do that with their play." Sophomore Ben Locke scored two of CVCA's goals against Lakeview. "Ben would be the first to say that he benefits from the play of his teammates, and he had a nice one touch finish on the first goal," said Taylor, a 2003 CVCA grad. Taylor didn't expect or see any drop of intensity after the upset win over defending state runner up Revere. Locke scored the first goal in the lower right net at the 28:38 mark of the first half on a cross from junior Sam Meszaros. As CVCA out shot Lakeview 8-3 in the first half, Royals Senior goalkeeper Chad Prtenjak made a save on a shot by midfielder Anthony Sember with 7:02 left in the first half. Despite a steady rain on a cold, blistery night, CVCA broke loose for three goals in the second half. The Royals shut down a potent Lakeview offense. Lakeview scored an incredible 115 goals this fall in its best season ever. The Royals controlled the midfield and the defense spread out Lakeview. CVCA also shut down the Bulldogs prolific scorer Colton Ainsley. The junior forward entered the game with 39 goals. With 26:22 left, Lakeview finally scored to make it 3-1 as Ainsley had a shot that was deflected and midfielder Austin Olbrych got the carom and scored off the top crossbar. "We tried to keep the ball moving and we did a great job of team defending," said Taylor. "Ainsley is a good player and we did well against him." Locke's second goal came at the 29:41 mark of the second half and made it 2-0. His kick hit the left corner of the nets, off of the fingertips of outstretched goalie Clay Becker. Sophomore Collin Surface scored for CVCA to make it 3-0 at the 27:54 mark. The Royals' final score came on a nice 2-on-1 run when Hayden Kaiser scored on a dish from junior Tim Andrassy. Prtenjak had five saves. E-mail: stowsports@recordpub.com Phone: 330-541-9442

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