Acadia Hover does something during lacrosse games that many people don't notice: she practices dance moves.
As goalie of the Rocky River Pirates, the junior has plenty of time to practice. Last Saturday, the Pirates beat Westlake 17-3 in the third round of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division II Region 5 tournament. In the previous game, Rocky River (15-3) pounded Toledo St. Ursula 21-2.
“I practice my dance moves,” Hover said. “I'll talk to the defensive players. Whenever we score, I'll run out to congratulate them. I try to stay in the game.”
The Pirates played Richfield Revere (12-7-1) on Tuesday in a rematch of the season opener in which Rocky River won 1-0. Earlier in the season, the Pirates defeated the Demons 17-2. The winner will face the winner of Tuesday's game between Bay and Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy. The scores of Tuesday's games were not available at press time.
Hover's dance moves were getting a lot of practice Saturday against Westlake (15-5). The Pirates scored often to quickly turn the game one-sided. Kaitlyn Byrne scored after intercepting a pass near the Demon goal, then scored into an empty net.
Playing a tough schedule of teams such as St. Joseph, Magnificat, Strongsville and a road trip to Columbus is paying dividends.
“We've worked all season to get ready for this,” Rocky River Coach Colleen Hile said. “We've played good teams like St. Joe's, Magnificat and others. Where we made mistakes against them, we tried to correct them.”
Those mistakes were not visible against the Demons. The pressure was on the Demons after that initial goal. Goals by Alexi Tisler, Mackenzie Russell and Olivia Konopka followed in the next four minutes.
Russell scored two more, while Tisler scored another in the next three minutes.
A running clock started with 4:05 left in the half when Konopka scored her second goal.
The Pirates built a 17-0 lead with 10:51 as Bryne (who scored two), Tisler, Emma Yezbak, Grace DeWitt and Addie Tisler all scored.
With the big lead, the Pirates freely substituted, and Hover danced her way to the sidelines for the rest of the game.
Westlake's Lucy Rocco scored a pair of goals, followed by one by Aya Alramahi in the final 6:17 for the final score.
“Hats off to Rocky River,” Westlake Coach Bill Ready said. “They are heck of a team. The biggest difference between the two is that our girls have played two or three years, while their's have played a decade. We have some athletes who played hard, but that's a huge gap to overcome. We're very proud of most wins in school history. highest ranking the region's school history. There's 13 great seniors out there; sad to see them go. I'm looking forward to what the younger kids can do next year.”
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