BRUNSWICK — High school sports seasons are often defined by moments.
Brunswick midfielder Nick Felician saw his and cashed in Tuesday, lifting the Blue Devils to a 1-0 Greater Cleveland Conference win over Medina.
“It was a big team play,” Brunswick coach Ben Dotson said. “We talked about how one small moment might make the difference. Nick (Demonte) had a great pressure and Felician was there to finish.
“We had just moved him up front to take a shot at the end. That’s why he is who he is. He’s that guy and he comes up with the big moments, as he should.”
Hounded all game by Medina, Felician wouldn’t have come up with his heroics had Demonte not played some heads-up soccer.
The senior sensed that Medina keeper Tyler Glasenapp might take a bad touch and when he did, he poked the ball free to Felician, who slotted one into the upper right corner with 6:18 remaining.
“He was the best player on the field,” Bees coach Simon Spelling said. “He wasn’t doing much, but he showed up in the last five minutes and put the ball in the back of the net.”
The win could be a gigantic shot in the arm for the Blue Devils (3-1, 2-0).
In beating the Bees (4-1, 1-1), who came in ranked second in the Division I state coaches poll, Brunswick erased a rather long winless streak against its cross-town rival. The Blue Devils had last beaten Medina on Sept. 10, 2011, so putting one in the win column against a team they were 0-5-2 against in the last five seasons went a long way.
“It’s amazing for the whole city and community of Brunswick,” Felician said. “To not have beaten them since 2011 is big for the soccer program.
“We didn’t play so well in the first half. The second half we made a lot of adjustments and I think we took a big step forward.”
That can’t be understated, as the Blue Devils won for only the seventh time in the 37-game history with Medina. It was also the only remaining GCC or Northeast Ohio Conference team Dotson hadn’t beaten in his five years as the lead man for Brunswick.
“It’s a big step for us in going the right direction,” Demonte said. “It’s been almost seven years. Last year we tied them (0-0). This year, it’s an unbelievable feeling.”
The victory came with some outstanding goalkeeping by Gavyn Ernst, who earned his first career shutout.
Medina’s Andy Prostor and Parker Csiszar kept pressure on Kyle Wolf, Nate Bohrer, Sean Tarbuck, Aaron Ogorzaly and Ryan McConnell, but every time they sniffed a scoring chance Ernst was there with one of his seven saves.
“I thought Gavyn was brilliant,” Dotson said. “He only had one nervy moment. I thought he played well beyond his years tonight.”
The Medina junior varsity took home a 5-0 win. Jake Vogrin scored twice for the Bees.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Brunswick 1, Medina 0
MEDINA 0 0 — 0
BRUNSWICK 0 1 — 1
B — Nick Felician (Nick Demonte), 6:18.
Shots on goal — Medina 7, Brunswick 6. Corner kicks — Medina 2, Brunswick 2. Saves — Tyler Glasenapp (M) 5, Gavyn Ernst (B) 7. Records — Medina (4-1, 1-1), Brunswick (3-1, 2-0). Junior varsity — Medina 5, Brunswick 0.