Casey McGhee and Emmett Stralka both scored goals to lead Independence to a 2-1 nonconference win over visiting Tallmadge in a Battle of the Blue Devils on Saturday.
McGhee swiped possession from a Tallmadge defender and buried a shot in the net for a 1-0 first half lead and Stralka scored off of a corner kick in the second half to push the Independence lead to 2-0.
That held until Tallmadge scored on a penalty kick midway through the second.
“It was a hot one,” said Independence coach Ryan MacRaild. “Casey got a turnover deep in their half and hit a nice low hard shot for a 1-0 lead, which held until the second half. Emmett was taking the SAT and didn’t get there until halftime but came in and scored off a rebound on a corner. They scored on a PK with about 20 minutes left but we held on and got out with the win.”
Sam Eisenmann dropped back to solidify the Independence defense and Joey Jirmasek, Nathan Bernstein, Matt Wisniewski, Charlie McGreal, and Drew Straub all contributed to the defensive effort.
Braden Flynn finished the game with 10 saves.
“It was a solid team effort against a pretty solid team,” MacRaild said.
Independence hosts rival Cuyahoga Heights on Tuesday.