By Jim Horvath
The North Olmsted boys soccer team picked up its first win of the season, scoring a pair of first-half goals in a 3-0 decision at home over Olmsted Falls in the Southwestern Conference opener for both schools Wednesday night.
The Eagles, now 1-0-1, dominated the scoring zone with 11 shots on goal to just two for the Bulldogs, who fell to 1-1 overall.
“We wanted to get that third goal, and we had some good opportunities in the first half,” said Eagles veteran head coach Chris Marsh, who now needs just five more wins to get to the 400 victory mark for his career.
“We just didn’t put the biscuit in the basket when we had the chance,” Marsh said “We wanted to get that third one, because that tends to take the wind out of the other team’s sails. Olmsted Falls has improved their skill level, and that’s been quite obvious over the past few years.
“In this league, you can’t take anything for granted. Not finishing when you have the opportunities can comeback to bite you,” he added.
North Olmsted drew first blood at the 15:55 mark of the first half when senior defender Josh Javor took a corner kick from fellow senior Brett Croston and scored on a header. Then with 17:05 gone, senior Nick Stone-Weiss took a pass from sophomore Justin Ball from e left side and shot it to the left of Falls goalie Taylor Lockhart for the 2-0 advantage.
Things were pretty quiet in the second half until the 23:13 mark when Stone-Weiss returned the favor and found Ball for the clincher.
“When we got into the offensive third of the field, we seemed to slow down instead of attacking,” said Falls head coach Jim Walchanowicz, who had just five seniors on his varsity roster.
“Offensively, we need to stay aggressive and have that killer instinct,” Walchanowicz said. “Defensively, we gave up two goals on some mistakes. We gave up the header, and we had times where we tried for the steal instead of containing. But give North Olmsted credit…they’ve got some strong players.”
Lockhart, a junior, had a number of impressive saves and recorded six saves on the night. Eagles goalie Nolan Escher had two saves before junior varsity keeper Evan Saunders finished the shutout during the final five minutes of play.