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    Beachwood edges Kirtland in battle of state-ranked teams

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    KIRTLAND–Beachwood defeated host Kirtland 3-1 in a battle of state-ranked teams at Wilson Stadium on Tuesday.

    With the win, the third-ranked Bison improved to 15-1 on the year while the 16th-ranked Hornets dropped to 12-3.

    “Credit to Kirtland, they’re a great team,” said Beachwood coach Brian Greene. “They’re well-coached and they gave us everything. The boys just stepped up. That’s what you work for.”

    The Bison struck quickly as Leo Blond headed in a goal just four minutes into the match.

    Kirtland’s Luka Oroz responded with a shot on target but Josh Rosenblitt recorded the save to maintain Beachwood’s lead.

    The Hornets again threatened midway through the first half when Vince Carriero squared up on the frame, but again Rosenblitt turned away the Kirtland attack.

    “They’re a great opponent and we showed well against them,” said Kirtland coach John Valentic. “The difference in the game was that they finished their opportunities, and we did not.”

    Three minutes later, Kirtland’s persistence paid off as Sander de Zwann found the back of the net to tie the game 1-1 heading into the break.

    Beachwood opened the second half fired up and on the attack, but it was Kirtland goalkeeper Jack Green’s turn to shine.

    Green recorded two key saves to maintain the tie.

    Oroz fired off another quality shot 12 minutes into the half but again Rosenblitt thwarted the attack.

    Beachwood’s counterattack resulted in an Ozan Sasmaz goal one minute later.

    The Bison almost added another when Daniel Park put a shot on the frame but this time, Green turned away the shot to keep the Hornets within one.

    Park got another chance 10 minutes later and this time, he wouldn’t miss and the Bison pushed their lead to 3-1.

    “The wind was a factor for whoever had it,” Greene said of the difference in offensive output in the second half. “We were up against it in the first half.”

    Beachwood will close out the regular season on Saturday with a home game against Twinsburg.

    “We have to stay healthy and level-headed for the playoffs,” Greene said. “We want to make a long run just like Kirtland looks to. Tonight was a nice atmosphere for the boys to get used to for the playoffs.”

    Kirtland wraps up the regular season on Thursday at Independence.

    “I have no doubt that we’re going to come back strong against Independence,” Valentic said. “I think they’re mad that they lost this game, and they want to make up for it.”

     

     

     

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