Wadsworth's Kai Wagner passes over Hudson's Carter Harbert during the first half. RON SCHWANE / GAZETTE
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HUDSON — The Wadsworth boys soccer team never forgot what happened a year ago en route to a second-place finish in the Suburban League National Conference.
So when the Grizzlies got their chance at redemption against Hudson on Tuesday, they made sure to make it count with a 1-0 win. That was the same score as last season, with the winner reversed.
The win snapped a 16-year SL title drought for the Grizzlies (12-1-2, 6-1).
“We always got the ugly date to the prom,” Wadsworth coach John Johnson said. “It’s good to get over the hump. They’re jacked. They’re pumped.
“We needed that, to be honest with you. We’ve done well this whole year and we needed something, whether it was North Royalton beating us or this. We needed a reward, and this was the reward.”
The fact Wadsworth has finished SL runner-up seven times since the turn of the century made the title sweeter. The Grizzlies also stopped a two-year skid in which they finished second, but beating the reigning champion might be the best piece of the pie.
“From the beginning of the game until the end, last year’s game stuck in there,” Wadsworth keeper Tyler Randolph said. “Even when we were celebrating, we thought of what they did last year to us. It felt great. It was awesome.”
“We knew we could come in there and play against them,” defender Josiah Sovine added. “They had to perform in order for them to win. We knew we could do our job.”
The job was a little bit easier when reserve David Chirumbole stole a pass and rifled it into the right corner with 21:20 left.
“Their center back lost the ball, so I got onto it,” Chirumbole said. “I cut in and just shot it as hard as I could.
“Last year was very frustrating because of that goal we gave up (to Hudson). This year, it was great to win and get past that.”
That it happened on the road was validation enough. Doing it against the top seed in the Kent Division I District was a shot in the arm the Grizzlies needed as they enter the Medina District as the top seed.
It was also another exclamation point for what has been a fantastic defensive season, as the Grizzlies picked up their 10th shutout.
That places them two behind a 27-year-old school record (Joe Mendel, 1990) and one the defense of Ryan Larj, Nathan Coard, Sovine and Nate Reed wants to break.
“It’s awesome. It’s our goal to break it,” Randolph said. “I told our back four I’ll take them out to dinner whenever they want if we get that shutout record. They’re my boys. They stick with us. They’re a good group.”
The Wadsworth junior varsity knocked off Hudson 2-1. Nick Young and Mason Warholic accounted for the Grizzlies’ goals.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Wadsworth 1, Hudson 0
WADSWORTH 0 1 — 1
HUDSON 0 0 — 0
W — David Chirumbole, 21:20.
Shots on goal — Wadsworth 7, Hudson 2. Corner kicks — Wadsworth 8, Hudson 7. Saves — Randolph (W) 2, Gynn (H) 6. Records — Wadsworth (12-1-2, 6-1), Hudson (8-5-2, 5-1-1). Junior varsity — Wadsworth 2, Hudson 1.