Top-seeded Kirtland defeated visiting Berkshire in a Division III sectional championship game at Recreation Park on Saturday, 5-0.
With the win, the Hornets advanced to the district semifinals where they will host No. 4 Cornerstone Christian on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
The shutout was the 10th of the season for the Hornets, who improved to 12-5 overall.
“Our defense this year has been so strong for me and they have made my life as easy as possible,” Kirtland keeper Tyler Banyasz said. “Johnny Raguz was able to learn behind Kyle Work last year and he has stepped up to the plate and taken the season by storm. Along with Anthony Svigel, who is on his first year with us, he has bought into coach (John) Valentic’s system and has played really well along with Paul Kosem and Justin Aranavage. I only have to make a couple of saves a game and I owe all the clean sheets to them.”
Banyasz recorded just one save in the win.
Evan Dures and Peter Vukovic both scored two goals for the Hornets while Josip Mijic-Barisic found the back of the net once.
Mijic-Barisic, Lance Dolovacky, Jason de Zwaan, Vukovic and Petar Mijic-Barisic all assisted on goals.
As the playoffs progress, the Hornets know they’ll be tested more each game and they continue to prepare each day for the challenges that lie ahead.
“We are preparing game to game at this point of the season,” Banyasz said. “It’s minor tweaks to our game we are focusing on the most. The goal is definitely to go far. To keep us advancing, it will take passion. We need to work for each other and stay selfless. When we play as a unit we are at our best. Simple soccer is what we dominate at and giving our attackers the most chances to score and make plays is what we have been successful at and that should help us get through game by game.”