In the first week of the season, Cuyahoga Falls boys soccer has seen both ends of the spectrum.
On April 19 as part of the OHSAA's "Friday Night Ftbol" program, Falls opened the season with a 5-0 rout of Field at Laybourne Field.
However, on Aug. 23 at Laybourne, Falls was overpowered by North Canton Hoover, losing by the same 5-0 score.
Falls' record stood at 1-1 as of press time.
Falls coach Eric Ortopan noted the game against Field was delayed more than an hour, which forced Falls to cancel to a halftime performance by the Cuyahoga Falls Marching Band.
That was about the only thing that went wrong on the night for Falls.
"We got five goals and three of them came from freshmen," Ortopan said. "It's a testament to what Cuyhoaga Falls has coming forward in the pipeline."
Ortopan admitted Field was "not what we're going to see on a regular basis throughout the season."
"They are lower than what we'll see in the league for sure," Ortopan said. "It was a good start to get some momentum going. Hopefully, we'll see some of that play reappear."
Falls finished with an 18-4 edge in shots on goal, as goaltender Tanner Treptow made four saves on the night. The Black Tigers also had 12-1 edge in corner kicks.
"We were able to establish our possession game early," Ortopan said. "We kept the ball and were able to handle their counterattacks. We struggled to find the back of the net early, but eventually, the floodgates opened. We played our game."
Fall got its first goal off a long free kick from junior Evan Hodson, which senior Zach Lias got a touch on. The ball squirted loose to the back post, where Logan Webb cleaned it up and put it home.
Up 1-0 at the half, Falls came out firing in the second half.
In the 47th minute, senior Harley Beatty sent a ball into the box, which Lias ran down and put home.
Lias then provided the assist on Falls' third goal. In the 52nd minute, her fed a pass to freshman Josh Boorman, who put it in the net.
Junior Tristan Wright earned Falls' fourth goal in the 60th minute when he broke loose for a breakaway, but was fouled in the box. Wright took the penalty kick himself and converted it to make it 4-0.
Finally in the 72nd minute, a corner kick from Falls was cleared by Field, but only as far as Boorman at the top of the box. Boorman launched a beautiful shot into the upper 90 of the net, completing the scoring for Falls.
Ortopan said Falls has six freshmen on the pitch in the game's final 10 minutes.
However, any positive vibes from the Field win were erased in the loss to Hoover. Ortopan can called it "an effort loss," as the Black Tigers struggled to create any forward momentum.
"We came out very slow and very flat," Ortopan said. "We have a lot of young guys in new places. I think it was a case of us not being prepared mentally. Hoover put two in the back of the net in the first 10 minutes. It was a bad night."
Ortopan let his team know exactly what he thought after the game.
"They knew thatis unacceptable," Ortopan said. "As a coach, I know it's our job to work on the mental game and we need to do better. They got the message."
One other piece of bad news from the Hoover game was the fact Beatty was injured in the first 15 minutes of the game and did not return. Ortopan said Beatty would not play in Falls' game with Barberton Aug. 27 (results of the game were not available at press time.
The Black Tigers will open their Suburban League National Conference schedule by hosting Brecksville-Broadview Heights Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. at Laybourne Field. Falls also will host Akron Firestone Sept. 3 at 1 p.m.