Kirtland jumped out to a 2-0 goal then needed a second-half surge to beat host Orange on Thursday, 3-2.
“They scored two quick ones late in the first half to tie it and then we settled in and just outplayed them in the second half,” said Kirtland coach Ed Bradac. “We made some adjustments and that made a big difference.”
Erika Zschuppe and Lidia Rodin both scored in the first half to help the Hornets build their 2-0 advantage.
The Lions roared back with two goals to tie it heading into the break.
Bradac then shifted Rodin to defense, Zschuppe to the midfield and he moved Mia Rini to forward.
“(Rini) played great,” Bradac said. “Erika really did well at the midfield position and Lidia didn’t let anything get by her in the second half.”
Zschuppe’s second goal of the game came in the second half and the Hornets held off the Lions the rest of the way to improve to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division.
Maya Zovko and Leah LaVerde both had assists for Kirtland.
Orange dropped to 0-4 on the year but the Lions have remained competitive against a rugged schedule. Their opponents have combined to go 9-2-1 thus far.
“Orange hasn’t won a game but that’s a dangerous team,” Bradac said. “They have I think 10 seniors on that team and a junior, Liv Domozick. She’s one of the best players in our area. She’s a threat every time she touches the ball.”
Domozick, who scored once against Kirtland, has scored five of Orange’s seven goals this season.
Kirtland travels to West Geauga on Thursday in a game between two of the News Herald’s top 10 teams. Kirtland is No. 1 in the latest Top of the Crop while West Geauga is No. 8.
“We found ways to win a variety of styles so far,” Bradac said. “Against Rocky River, we were down 1-0 and came back to win 2-1. There have been games we’ve led from the first minute to the last minute and then tonight another way we found to win was to go up 2-0 and have the momentum. Then they take the momentum back to go to 2-2 and to our girls’ credit, at halftime we told them the next 10 minutes will determine the game. We had to put pressure on them and to their credit the scored in the first 10 minutes of the second half.”