The Fairview Warriors boys soccer team took to its home field Sept. 4 hungry for its first league win as part of the Great Lakes Conference.
After dropping their first GLC match a week earlier against Rocky River 2-0, the Warriors redeemed themselves and beat Holy Name 5-1.
Leading the charge for Fairview was standout senior forward Mauricio Huerta who scored the first two goals for the Warriors. Adding to that total were Dorian Blazevic in the 27th minute, Mark Langdon (68th) and Ryan Farkas (78th).
Fairview (3-1-1, 1-1 GLC) looked both, at times, tentative when fighting for possession and overenthusiastic when trying to make a run against a staunch Green Wave defense. When Huerta scored his first goal in the 15th minute, though, it seemed to calm down the players and the fans in the stands.
His goal in the 20th minute gave them breathing room.
“We realized we needed to get a win so we came out intense, we came out hard and I know the start was slow, but we started to get better composure as the game went on,” Huerta said. “(The first goal relieved) the pressure we had of trying to win the game, which obviously we felt like we were going to win the game but we wanted to get off to a good start and win the game properly.”
Despite the early offense created by Fairview in its defensive zone, Holy Name (1-4-1, 0-2 GLC) never stopped attacking. With offense created by junior captain Jonathon Stanislo in midfield and seniors Joseph Poremsky and Mason Hancock up top, the Green Wave keep the pressure on Fairview’s mids and defenders throughout the game.
More often than not, however, the Warriors were able to clear the ball before they were in any serious danger. In one instance, Poremsky knocked a little dribbler toward the net and with goalie Tyler Danburg coming out to cover, Farkas kicked the ball away with just feet to spare in front of the net.
Though the Wave were outshot 18-9 (14-5 on goal), their pressure did result in a lead in corner attempts in the first half 3-1. Holy Name continued this mindset into the second half when Hancock finally scored from about 25 yards out in the 62nd minute. Less than 15 minutes later, though, he was out of the game after picking up his second yellow.
Warriors coach Roger Brooks said he was proud of the way his team hung with the pressure that Holy Name brought and that they’ll have to continue to be ready for fights like this with the increased talent they’ll face in the GLC.
“We need to definitely continue our style of soccer,” Brooks said. “Playing the ball well, moving it to the outside, sending it down the wings and utilizing every player on the field so we can compete with the GLC and the other teams that aren’t in our GLC (schedule) like Orange and Chagrin Falls that we have on the schedule purposely so we can get ready for other things.”
After a four-goal victory like this, both Huerta and Brooks acknowledged that this team isn’t perfect and that there still has to be improvement in certain areas in the coming weeks.
“What we need to do is control more of the middle of the field, we need to push the ball,” Brooks said. “We had a lot of green space between the offense and defense and my mids have to push up on the outside. Defenders need to fill that gap for me. That’s the only real thing I need to do and I need to get my forwards to even shoot the ball more.”
The Warriors seem to be enjoying the added challenge of GLCteams after two games into their new conference. Moving forward, Brooks said his main goal is simple: “Beating Bay.”
“(Bay head coach) Bobby (Dougherty)’s got a great team and the same with Kevin (Zerby) over at (Rocky) River. Great team, we’re always right in the game,” Brooks said. “We want to beat those teams and play well against them. Which we did with River and we want to do it again with Bay.”
The Warriors are back on the pitch at 7:00 p.m. tomorrow at Lutheran West and are back home Saturday at 1:00 p.m. against Parma.
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