GATES MILLS—Kirtland head coach Ed Bradac wasn’t about to let Hawken standout Maggie Canitia beat the Hornets.
She didn’t but her teammate Daysha Randelson did.
Randelson scored two first half goals to lead the Hawks to a 2-0 win over the Hornets.
“I think our No. 1 priority was to make sure that Maggie Canitia wasn’t going to beat us,” Bradac said. “We went and watched Hawken play against Lake (Catholic). It was a 2-1 game. We knew who their strong players were. I would say that Randelson was the one that hurt us. Obviously she scored the two goals and one she just beat our keeper to the low post.”
The conference loss was the first for the Hornets since a 1-0 setback to Cuyahoga Heights on Sept. 13, 2012. The Hornets had won 15 straight Chagrin Valley Conference Valley Division games since then. This year, the Hornets bumped up to the Chagrin Division in the restructured CVC.
“It’s a new conference and we picked this poison,” Bradac said. “Here’s why we picked it, because I believe the seniors that we have will rise to this. We have to play this type of team. We have to play the Hawkens, the Chagrins, the Genevas and West Geauga. We have to play the teams in that division and I think we’re ready for it. The first half just didn’t show that we were ready for it.”
Kirtland, which dropped to 1-1 overall and 0-1 in league play, got off to a rough start.
The Hornets committed three handball violations and lost several balls in the backend that resulted in Hawken corner kicks.
“We did not play a good first half,” Bradac said. “I don’t know what it was; we just did not play a very good first half. We had three hand balls, two in the top 18 and one over her on the corner, and several corner kicks that we gave up as well.”
Randelson, who scored 15 goals last year as a sophomore, scored her first goal with just over 29 minutes left to play in the first half. She made it 2-0 with 2:26 left before halftime.
“I was hoping to get out of the half down just 1-0,” Bradac said. “Getting that second goal scored on us was a little bit of an issue.”
Last season, Kirtland outscored its Valley Division opponents, 23-0. This year, the Hornets have their work cut out for them in the bigger division, but Bradac wouldn’t have it any other way.
“For us it’s not about, and we’ve all talked about it, we knew coming in that we’d rather lose 2-0 than beat a team 8-0,” he said. “There’s a lot more to gain and to learn from a 2-0 loss than there is from an 8-0 win.”
Kirtland travels to Independence on Sept. 8.