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Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy boys soccer drops pair of close games to Hudson and Orange

by Frank Aceto | Associate Sports Editor Published: September 8, 2016 2:16 PM

Hudson -- Over the years, the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy boys soccer team has proven it can play with anyone.

And that includes a Division I powerhouse like Hudson.

In fact, the Royals had a two-game winning streak against the Explorers prior to their contest with Hudson Sept. 1.

This time, though, the bigger school had the upper hand.

Hudson earned a 2-1 victory over CVCA at Hudson Memorial Stadium. The Royals, who scored a 1-0 win over the Explorers last year and a 3-1 victory over Hudson in 2014, also lost to Orange 1-0 Sept. 3 at Royals Stadium to fall to 2-3-1.

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"Hudson is a very good team," Royals head coach Angelo Finelli said. "They're very organized and very athletic. They play for each other."

The loss wasn't the only issue for CVCA. Two Royals were issued red cards late in the game.

"We're a young team," Finelli said. "It's a process. We just have to make sure we get better every single day. They have to make that journey together."

The Explorers controlled possession for much of the first half and constantly put pressure on CVCA's defense.

"This was a big win," Hudson head coach Steve Knapp said. "CVCA is always a quality team."

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The Explorers built a 2-0 halftime lead, thanks to goals by senior defender Ryan Jackson and junior midfielder Wilson Sattele.

Jackson got Hudson on the board less than six minutes into the game.

After a corner kick, the ball bounced around not far from the goal in the Royals' penalty box. Jackson was there to retrieve the loose ball near the 6-yard line and he poked it into the net past CVCA senior goalkeeper Brooks Montgomery. Senior defender Jack Sarkisian was credited with the assist.

The Explorers had plenty of chances to add to their lead and they finally got their second goal with 55 seconds left in the first half.

Sattele got the ball on the right side of the field not far from the 18-yard line. Using his left foot, Sattele hit a line-drive, one-touch volley shot that found the strings.

The Royals' best chance to score in the first half took place on a set piece.

On a free kick from the right side, Hudson resident Braden Petno blasted a shot over Hudson's wall and at Explorer goalkeeper Connor Gynn.

The junior goalie showed cat-like reflexes to deflect the ball away with his right foot.

Nonetheless, the halftime break seemed to rejuvenate CVCA.

On a long set piece by senior Brady Bissonette, Petno, a senior, headed the free kick into the goal less than two minutes into the second half.

But the Explorers regained control by keeping possession of the ball for the majority of the second half. Gynn finished with three saves.

Hudson had a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal and an 8-1 edge in corner kicks.

"We have been a little more creative in the final third of the field," Knapp said. "We're better at possessing the ball. It all starts with our back four. They have a link with our midfield and our midfield creates passes for our players up top."

The Royals were scheduled to host Medina Highland Sept. 8 before heading to Copley Sept. 10. Results of those games were not available at press time.

CVCA is set to visit entertain Youngstown Cardinal Mooney Sept. 13 at 7 p.m. before heading to Walsh Jesuit Sept. 17 at 3 p.m.

Email: faceto@recordpub.com

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