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Twinsburg shocks Stow girls soccer with second-half rally

by Michael Leonard Sports Editor Published: September 18, 2016 12:00 AM
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After one half, Stow-Munroe Falls girls soccer seemed to have Twinsburg under control.

Stow was leading 1-0 at halftime Sept. 14 at Bulldog Stadium and went to the locker room with a 6-1 edge in shots on goal.

But the Tigers, who have been a second-half team for much of the season, turned the game around completely after the half.

Three second-half goals allowed Twinsburg to run away 3-1 winners.

The loss for the Bulldogs followed a 4-1 win at Massillon Perry Sept. 12.

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Twinsburg improved to 4-2-2, 1-1-1 in the Suburban League National Conference, while Stow suffered its first loss of the season, falling to 4-1-1, 1-1 in the National Conference.

According to Twinsburg coach John Garber, dramatic as the turnaround was, it fits his team's pattern this season.

"It's kind of been the story of our season so far," Garber said. "With so many young players, I think sometimes it takes awhile for us to get our confidence."

Garber said his key adjustment at halftime was to send his outside forwards out wider to open up space in the Bulldogs' defense.

Stow coach Nate Rausch said his team's primary issue was that it didn't play with the same intensity it did in the first half.

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"We got complacent," Rausch said. "It was a great 40 minutes for us in the first half. We kind of relaxed and they took advantage of it. Their wingers were a lot wider in the second half.

"Credit to [Twinsburg] for making the plays they did, but we've got to play a solid 80 minutes," Rausch added. "It wasn't our best second half."

Stow looked to have Twinsburg pinned back for much of the first half. The Bulldogs nearly opened the scoring in the first 10 minutes, but forward Emily Andrassy's shot hit the crossbar.

A couple of nice saves by Tiger goalie Ally Zenda kept the scores level, but Stow broke through in the 32nd minute.

Off a free kick from Moriah Payne, Stow forward Elyse Casalinova controlled the ball in the box and put a low shot past Zenda to make it 1-0.

However, things started going wrong for Stow soon after, as Payne cramped up and had to leave the game.

Payne's absence loomed larger due to the fact that midfielder Sophia Boris already was absent due to injury.

"Moriah's a big part of our defense and Sophia controls the middle for us, but that's not an excuse," Rausch said. "We've got a deep team and we should be able to cover for it."

Twinsburg came out firing in the second half and found the equalizer in the 48th minute.

Forward Alyssa Kleinmann made a strong run through the Bulldog defense and put a low shot into the corner of the net to make it 1-1.

"Stow is a very difficult team to break down," Garber said. "We did a great job with the chances that we had."

Casalinova nearly gave Stow the lead back in the 53rd minute, but her shot banged off the crossbar.

Twinsburg made the Bulldogs pay for the miss in the 67th minute.

A long ball from midfielder Blair Harney was run onto by forward Alli King, who put the ball past Stow goalkeeper Amanda Holocker and into the net.

The Tigers completed the turnaround three minutes later when Anna Cleveland sent a perfect diagonal ball into the box. Alyssa Troyer beat Holocker to the ball and put it into the net to make it 3-1.

Holocker collided with Troyer after the shot and had to leave the game with a back injury. She left the contest with two saves. Backup Stow keeper Kieran Smith also had two saves in the game's final 10 minutes.

Zenda finished with five saves for Twinsburg.

Shots on goal ended up tied at 8-8, while Stow had a 3-1 edge in corner kicks.

Stow faces a busy week against three tough opponents. The Bulldogs host Copley Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium, host Hudson Sept. 21 at 7 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium and host Uniontown Lake Sept. 24 at noon at the Stow Soccer Stadium.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC


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