Hornets sting Wellington in season opener

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Sophomore Mario Rodin scored two goals to lead Kirtland to a 6-0 season-opening win at Wellington on Saturday.

Ante Bevanda, Petar Mijic-Barisic, Marko Cubela and Peter Vukovic also added goals in the win.

“We were organized defensively and created numerous, quality chances throughout the game,” said Kirtland coach John Valentic. “Even though Wellington did not threaten often, our goalkeeper and defenders communicated clearly and consistently. They were focused the entire game. Overall, I was happy with everyone’s performance and the effort given.”

Jeremy Lunka led the Hornets with two assists while Josip Mijic-Barisic, Cubela, Vokovic and Rodin each had one.

Tyler Banyasz recorded three saves in goal as the Hornets outshot Wellington, 16-5.

Rodin scored his first career goals after injuries limited his opportunities last year during his freshman season.

“It felt fantastic,” Rodin said. “I had missed opportunities last year but to score two goals in the first game of the season was very exciting.”

Lunka fed Rodin at the top of the box on his first goal and he beat the goal for a high ball on the second.

The win—and the two-goal performance—has Rodin and his teammates heading into game two with a lot of confidence.

“It boosts our confidence going into the season, but we have a tough schedule ahead of us,” Rodin said.

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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.