Midway through the season, the Rocky River Pirates are looking for the title of conference champs one win at a time.
Rocky River is 3-1-0 in the West Shore Conference and will face rival Bay on Oct. 10.
“They don’t have any conference losses so far, and we have one,” Pirates head coach Kevin Zerbey said. “If we keep winning, and go there, then if we beat them, we’ll be at least tied for conference champs. At least that’s how I’m looking at it.”
Team leaders Tristan Smith, Trent Newby, Sutton Klodnick and Jacob Wischmeier paved the way in the 2-1 win against the North Ridgeville Rangers on Sept. 19 at North Ridgeville.
“This season, I’ve wanted them to come out really strong in the first five minutes of the game, and so far this season we haven’t done that as much as I would like,” Zerbey said.
Wischmeier scored a goal within the first three minutes of the game which was looked highly on by Zerbey.
“So today we got that early goal, and we kept up pressure on them, so I was happy with how that worked out; and I’d like to see that more as we go through the rest of the season,” he said.
The second goal of the game was scored by Chase Newby with 3:50 minutes left in the first half. This secured the win for Rocky River.
“We were able to create some opportunities in the first half that we were able to finish,” Zerbey said. “We got those two goals and we’re in control of the game.
“We played pretty well defensively tonight. Other than (their) first goal, our defense lead us to the win.”
Although the Pirates show up and play good soccer, they find themselves digging themselves out of a hole from the previous four games.
“So far, we just lost four games in a row before this one, so I would say that you know we lost to Westlake, Beachwood, Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin, and Avon,” Zerbey lamented. “Those (games) were tough competition; I mean, we played really well and lost.
“I would say we got some talented guys who play good soccer,” he added. “What caused that four-game losing streak was untimely mistakes where we switched off in concentration. So the good thing is the talent that we have. The bad thing is that we’re a little bit young. I don’t have that many seniors, just have a bunch of juniors and sophomores. Their concentration isn’t always what it needs to be.”
Looking to the path ahead, Zerbey looks to focus on two particular aspects that need to be improved as the team continues.
“It’s pretty easy,” he said. “We need to eliminate the little lapses in concentration, and we need some timely goals – during that four-game stretch, we couldn’t score when we needed one, it just wasn’t there – so those two things, we’ll do all right. We’ll go pretty far in districts, maybe on to regionals.”