BRUNSWICK — The Brunswick girls soccer team has a long collective memory.
While it’s a new season with a ton of new faces, the sting of a loss to Westlake 10 months ago was still fresh in the Blue Devils’ memory banks in a 6-1 non-conference win Monday.
The date was Oct. 9, 2017, and the Demons exorcized a five-game unbeaten streak by Brunswick when they beat the Blue Devils 5-3.
Enter 2018 and enter a healthy Brunswick squad ready to prove its No. 14 ranking in the nation by TopDrawerSoccer.com is legit.
The Blue Devils (2-0) dominated every facet of the contest to remain unbeaten in this young season.
“Coming out today, we all had the mentality that we were out for the same common goal,” junior Caylee Jozefov said. “We all want to play at the highest level as we can. Knowing that they beat us like they did last year and how they got into our heads, we didn’t want that to happen this year.
“We wanted to be the ones in their heads. We wanted to establish the first goal like they established the first goal. We wanted to come out with intensity and strength and impose our will on them.”
Brunswick didn’t waste any time scoring when Alexa Mackey sent a perfect pass from the right side to the foot of Jozefov. The midfielder made true on the shot against a virtually defenseless Lily Voiklis just 2:32 in.
The second goal of the half may have been the backbreaker, as Maddy Grabowski beat Voiklis to the top post. The shot came on a free kick from 42 yards out and snuck just under the crossbar with 5:02 left before the break.
While it gave the Blue Devils a two-goal lead, it was the straw that broke the backline for Westlake, which was coming off a district final appearance last season.
“It helped us get momentum, but I think we had the game pretty much controlled from the start,” Grabowski said. “That was really good because the (season opener against Padua) we weren’t on 100 percent. I think we played better as a team.”
The dominance continued in the second half with Emily Kazimore, Ariella Pitty, Jozefov and Camryn Dunn scoring. Grabowski and Rayna Nemcek added assists.
The supremacy of Brunswick’s starting defense continued as Jordyn Wickes, Alex Flowers, Grabowski, Hiram commit Mariah Kimble and Sarah Stupka held the Demons (1-1) without a shot, as Westlake’s goal came with reserves in.
“I think our backline is pretty strong,” Kimble said. “We’re well connected. When one steps up, we know to cover and shift over. We’re pretty talkative, too. We always let each other know what’s going on, where to step, where to hold or when to man on. It’s also part of team chemistry because our backline has been playing for so long.”
On a team where Pitty is headed to Ohio State and Jozefov is bound for Toledo, Brunswick’s defense has become the lifeblood of the team. In two games, the Blue Devils have allowed only one shot on goal and surrendered just three attempts.
“We’re strong all the way from our strikers shifting over to defend to our backline and goalie (Sammy Grabowski),” Blue Devils coach Scott Ward said. “We’re beyond solid. They work very hard in practice and it’s showing in the games.”
The Brunswick junior varsity won 4-2 behind Bailey Brown’s two goals. Nemcek and Alexa Cohara also scored.
Brunswick 6, Westlake 1
WESTLAKE 0 1 — 1
BRUNSWICK 2 4 — 6
B — Caylee Jozefov (Alexa Mackey), 37:28.
B — Maddy Grabowski, 5:02.
B — Emily Kazimore, 27:28.
B — Ariella Pitty, 24:45.
B — Jozefov (Grabowski), 10:27.
B — Camryn Dunn (Rayna Nemcek), 9:09.
W — Sophia Kontak (Stephanie Randar), 4:58.
Shots on goal — Westlake 1, Brunswick 14. Corner kicks — Westlake 1, Brunswick 5. Saves — Lilly Voklis (W) 8, Sammy Grabowski (B) 0. Records — Westlake (1-1), Brunswick (2-0). Junior varsity — Brunswick 4, Westlake 2.