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Woodridge soccer smashes Field, but falls to Nordonia

by Michael Leonard Sports Editor Published: September 25, 2016 12:00 AM

Woodridge boys soccer continued its undefeated start to the season Sept. 15 by doing what has become common.

When the Bulldogs have faced Portage Trail Conference Metro Division opposition, they tend to dominate.

"Our philosophy about the conference is to score early and often, so we can get a lot of guys touches in game situations," said Woodridge coach Todd Hartong.

While it took awhile to really get rolling, Woodridge followed its philosophy well, running out 10-1 winners over Field at Lahoski Field.

The Bulldogs' play this season has earned some recognition, as Woodridge was ranked No. 11 in Division II in the

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Sept. 19 poll from the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association.

On Sept. 17, however, Woodridge hit the road to Nordonia and suffered its first loss of the season 2-0.

Woodridge's record stood at 8-1, 3-0 in the Metro Division as of press time.

Following its 2-0 win over St. Vincent-St. Mary Sept. 13, the Bulldogs offense looked to get untracked against the winless Falcons.

Things started well for the Bulldogs when senior midfielder Caleb Whitaker headed home a cross in the sixth minute. The Bulldogs' leading scorer was on his way to a hat trick for the night.

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Woodridge's second goal also came off a header in the 19th minute. Carter Hartong served a perfect ball into the box and defender Sam Reaman headed it into the net.

However, Field would get one back in the 23rd minute, thanks to a bad clearing ball from the Woodridge defense. Field forward Dante Hardin collected the ball and sent a low shot into the net.

"It took us a some time to get going," coach Hartong said. "We're only up 2-1 in the 30th minute before we really started playing well."

Woodridge seemed to be stunned by the Falcons' goal, but the Bulldogs got rolling again in the 35th minute.

Zach Kumar attempted to chip the ball over Falcon goalie Owen Hall. He beat Hall but not the crossbar, but Nolan Spencer grabbed the rebound and put it in the net.

In the 37th minute, Kumar fed a ball to Whitaker in the box and Whitaker ran through the Field defense before slotting it home to make it 4-1 at halftime.

Woodridge really blew it open with three goals in a four-minute span after halftime.

In the 46th minute, Kumar hit the crossbar again. This time, Dante Arstone crashed the net and headed the ball in.

In the 49th minute, Whitaker hit a low shot from inside the box thatscooted under Hall and in.

Finally in the 50th minute, after hitting the woodwork twice, Kumar ran onto a pass from Whitaker, cut inside the box and put his shot home to make it 7-1.

Coach Hartong emptied his bench from there, but the Bulldog reserves also got into the act.

Woodridge got two goals from junior Justice Fair in the 60th and 72nd minute, while sophomore Abdur Karimov capped the scoring in the 75th minute.

Bulldogs goaltender Brett Lemke recorded two saves in the win.

The loss to Nordonia saw the Bulldogs unable to break down the Knights' defense, despite finishing with a 10-6 edge in shots on goal.

Coach Hartong credited the Knights for having a good game plan and outworking the Bulldogs in the game.

Nordonia got a goal in the first half from Trey Crockett and a goal in the second half from Cody Dodds.

Woodridge was set to travel to Coventry Sept. 22 and host Marlington Sept. 24, but results were not available at press time.

The Bulldogs will host Norton Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC


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