WADSWORTH — The Brunswick boys soccer team overcame the losses of two key defenders earlier in the week and blanked Wadsworth 3-0 Saturday evening.
Senior captain Aaron Ogorzaly was injured and fellow senior Ryan McConnell was serving a suspension for receiving a red card in the previous game, but the Blue Devils (2-0) still managed to hold the Grizzlies to just two shots on goal — one in each half — en route to the non-league shutout.
“Earlier this week we lost two really good defenders, and we had players playing positions they aren’t used to playing, but we knew they could play,” Brunswick junior midfielder Justin Hagler said. “We played confidently, and those players stepped up.”
Key to the effort was the work of junior midfielder Andrew Miranda, who was tasked with marking Wadsworth’s talented scoring midfielder, Kai Wagner, for most of the game. Wagner had only one shot on goal.
“Andrew Miranda probably played the game of his life on probably the top player in (Medina) County in Kai Wagner. He followed him all over the field,” Brunswick coach Ben Dotson said. “To limit them to a shutout took not one guy but 11 to get behind the ball and get organized.”
What also helped was the quick closing speed and ability to rush the Grizzlies (2-1) into poor shots and touches that sailed high or wide.
“They pressed very well and knocked us off the ball and we need to deal with it better, but that happens with an inexperienced team,” Wadsworth coach John Johnson said. “We haven’t played a team like this yet.”
Brunswick took control of the pace in the first half. The Blue Devils lit up the scoreboard when Hagler sent a cross from the right of the goal along the end line and junior forward Tyler Hudy tapped it home 10 minutes in.
With 10 minutes left in the half, sophomore captain Cole Parete took a corner from the right side and sent a roller in. Hagler advanced to sophomore midfielder Logan Scherer for a 2-0 halftime lead.
“My favorite thing to do is have the ball in the corner and cross it to my teammates, which is what I did on my first (assist), and the second one was a corner kick play we’ve been working on for a while,” Hagler said.
Senior defenseman Sean Tarbuck accounted for the final goal. With nearly 23 minutes left, he took the ball into the heart of the defense, crossed two defenders and sent the ball in from the left side.
Johnson believes the test against Brunswick will prove a valuable learning experience.
“We have to be prepared. When we stepped out on the field (tonight), we weren’t totally focused,” Johnson said. “We have to stop being indecisive.”
Brunswick 3, Wadsworth 0
BRUNSWICK 2 1 — 3
WADSWORTH 0 0 — 0
B — Tyler Hudy (Justin Hagler), 29:59.
B — Logan Scherer (Hagler), 9:50.
B — Sean Tarbuck, 22:55.
Shots on goal — Brunswick 10, Wadsworth 2. Corner kicks — Brunswick 6, Wadsworth 3. Saves — Gavyn Ernst (B) 1, Noah Porter (W) 6. Records — Brunswick (2-0), Wadsworth (2-1).