Rangers fall short at University


HUNTING VALLEY—Tenth-seeded North was a bit outmatched at No. 2 seed University School in a Division I sectional final on Saturday but the Rangers gave the Preppers a game, despite a 2-0 setback.

“They’re a more skilled team,” North coach Steve Misick said. “That’s our downfall right now. We really have to work on our foot skills. That’s where we’re lacking.”

Griffin Meyer gave the Preppers a 1-0 lead with 30:41 remaining in the first half. It remained a one-goal advantage for University School until Connor Soltis scored just two minutes into the second half.

The Rangers fought off the Preppers the rest of the way but couldn’t cut into the University lead.

Hayden Roberts finished with 12 saves for the Rangers.

Roberts began the year as a center back but moved to keeper late in the season to bolster the position.

“We took a chance on him as a center back last year and it really worked out,” Misick said of Roberts. “We made the decision a few weeks ago that if we’re going to do something (in the postseason) we could replace Hayden on the field but we could probably upgrade at keeper. It worked out.”

University improved to 9-6-2 on the year while North ended the season with a 4-13-1 record.

The Rangers have high expectations for the future thanks to a young team developing throughout the year.

“We’ve been fighting it all year,” Misick said of the inexperience. “There were games we certainly gave away. We were the better team but a couple of silly mistakes were the difference in the game. The Riverside game, the first Madison game, the Mentor game, the Brush game, those were all games we should have won and we didn’t.”

North likely will add several more freshmen to the varsity next fall but the bulk of the squad will have plenty of varsity experience which can hopefully lead to more wins in 2019.

“The freshman class this year was really productive for us,” Misick said. “Next year, there are probably going to be three more freshmen on the team but the skill level for us is going up. We’re moving back up to the penthouse. It was a good experience for the young guys so I’m hoping it sticks with them and I think it will because they’re good players.”

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The creator and publisher of OhioVarsity.com, Hare has covered high school sports in Northeast Ohio since 1997. He began as a correspondent for the Lake County News Herald, where he contributed until 2011, primarily covering high school football and wrestling. In 1999, Hare began writing for IrishIllustrated.com, a member of the Scout.com network of high school and college sports web sites. He focuses on covering Notre Dame football recruiting. OhioVarsity.com was created in 2004 and was a member of the Rivals.com network until 2012. The site's original purpose was to cover Ohio high school football and recruiting news but since has grown to cover all sports and to provide sports information services to high school athletic programs and individual teams. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.