EASTLAKE—Lesley Kiesling scored two goals and Hallie Krzys scored one to lead Croatia Juniors to a 3-0 win over visiting Motor City Futbol Club at Carter Stadium on Saturday.

With the win, the Junior closed out their inaugural season of play in the Women’s Premier Soccer League with back-to-back wins and their first shutout of the campaign.

“We started looking like a team,” said Juniors head coach Drago Dumbovic. “All the things we were searching for started coming together. It’s too bad we don’t start the season now. The team is looking extremely sharp and there is chemistry. It was just fun watching the game. It’s too bad it’s the end of the season but it’s something to build on from here on.”

Croatia picked up its first win of the season two weeks earlier at Motor City and on Saturday, the Juniors were eager to close out the season with another victory.

“The intensity and the passion to win this game was really high and that’s what you ask from the players,” Dumbovic said. “Work hard, be disciplined, work for each other and communicate, and let’s attack. Our fullbacks were great today. They were attacking.”

Kiesling (North Canton Hoover/Milwaukee) broke a scoreless tie in the 53rd minute when she punched in a rebound off of Krzys shot that hit the crossbar. The goal was the third of the season for Kiesling and came moments after she missed an open net shot.

“I apologized to Drago,” she said. “I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you nervous there,’ but I finished the next one.”

Krzys (Berea-Midpark/Wooster) also made the most of her second-chance opportunity when she delivered a one-touch goal from 30 yards out to make the score 2-0.

With that goal, Krzys tied Kiesling for the team lead with three goals this season.

That tie lasted only a few seconds as Kiesling closed out her season with a fourth goal to put the game out of reach.

“It was nice,” Kiesling said of her back-to-back multi-goal games. “It’s always nice to get another goal and we really put them away with that one. It was kind of nice to come off the field and just take our deep breath and be happy about the season.”

Kaitlyn Low (Walsh Jesuit/Mercyhurst) blanked Motor City in the first half and Megan Biddell (Mentor/Lake Erie College) closed out the game with 45 shutout minutes in the second half.

The Juniors finished the WPSL season with a 2-5-0 record.

“A lot of players came in and we were all brand new to each other,” Dumbovic said. “I think the players are going to look forward to the next year because we are established now and it’s good to finish off on a good note.”

Many of the Juniors will head back to college soon but the team will continue to train throughout the summer and into the winter in preparation for a second season of WPSL play.

“It’s good that we ended on a winning note,” Dumbovic said. “We were in every game. We were right there but we were lacking that one shot to go in and then we open up and they’d score another one, but we played very well.”

 

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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.