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Demons keep winning ways alive with team chemistry

Westlake's No. 1 fan, Chad DiLillo, gives the Demons a post-game victory speech. (West Life photo by Stefanie Kilnapp)

Stefanie Kilnapp
With a record of 7-1, a soccer team like the Westlake Demons shouldn’t have many flaws, right? Head coach Mike Besu would disagree.
“Actually we should be 8-0,” he said. “I think, at times, we started to play good soccer. The first five games we played really good soccer and we played as a team. There were no individuals.
“The last few games, we starting to read too many clippings in the paper and too many highlights and everything else. I think it’s starting to affect some of the team chemistry.”
Team captain Sean Bigley agrees that team chemistry is a big factor in how Westlake plays its soccer games.
“The major key to our success right now is that we’re playing as a team, so we have team chemistry,” he said. “We always came out to play, we loved playing with each other, practices were fun, we’re always working hard. We always came out to play, came out to win.”
The Demons have a good future regarding the postseason, and Besu wants to make sure every game is taken as seriously as the last one. He finds it is a weakness to underestimate opponents, and therefore not to play with all of one’s skills.
“We want to win the conference and we want to get in the top two seed in the district, and to get out of the district and make it into the regionals.” Besu said. “Once you make it into the regionals, anything can happen.”
Besu also wants to keep the momentum going through the tough games this season.
“We got quite a few of them (tough games),” he said. “I could say Strongsville (is one of them). From the conference, probably Brecksville and North Olmsted, those are the two big rivalries. We play a lot of good teams.”
“We haven’t been playing with enough heart and passion lately,” Demons team captain Nick Wertman said. “We all have the talent and the skill, but right now we aren’t playing with the intensity to win games.”
Last Wednesday, Westlake pulled out a miraculous win in the final two seconds over conference rival Berea. The last goal, scored by Wertman, was a result of a penalty kick for a slide tackle close to the box. Originally, time was called on the game, but a side referee called it back, stating there were two seconds left, which saved Westlake from a 1-1 tie with Berea.
“We only played the first 30 seconds and the last two seconds of the game, and Berea dominated us all in between; but I mean, for the way it ended like that, it’s rough for Berea, but it was great for us,” Wertman said. “It was probably the most fun ending of any soccer game I’ve ever played in.”
“We played for 32 seconds, everything in between wasn’t really there,” Westlake’s Sean Bigley said. “We need to play the entire game.
“The clutch goal from Nick, I can’t explain that, but you’re happy to have a player on the team who can do that for you, and you can count on him to score the goal when you need it.”
The first goal, scored by Mark Sutcliffe, along with the game saver from Nick Wertman, gave Westlake the exciting 2-1 win over the Berea Braves.
“We can’t take (opponent) lightly,” Besu stated.



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