- 1 of 1 Photos | View More Photos
Tallmadge -- The Cuyahoga Falls boys soccer team has not won a game since the Black Tigers became a part of the Suburban League National Conference two years ago.
At least on one day, Falls seemed pretty comfortable against an American Conference opponent.
Falls earned a convincing 4-1 victory over Suburban League crossover rival Tallmadge Oct. 1 at Tallmadge Middle School's Thomas Rossiaky Stadium.
Unfortunately, the Black Tigers still haven't solved their National Conference rivals. They fell to 0-6 in the conference after losing to North Royalton 5-0 Oct. 4 at the Laybourne Sports Complex.
But everything went right against the Blue Devils (6-5-2), who had lost four in a row as of press time.
Falls stormed out of the gates to take a 3-0 lead 16 minutes 11 seconds into the game. The first two goals took place 38 seconds apart.
"We want to put pressure on the other team and be the attacking team," Black Tigers head coach Eric Ortopan said. "That's how we're going to have to play since we have a lot of great teams in our conference.
"We got our first two goals off turnovers. We played with a lot of energy on offense. That took the load off the defense's shoulders."
Falls' senior Zach Lias made it 1-0 a little more than 10 minutes into the contest with a left-footed shot into the lower right corner of the net. Senior Greg McDevitt was credited with the assist.
In the blink of an eye, the Black Tigers (4-9-2) made it 2-0.
This time, senior Diego Mendoza, a foreign-exchange student from Spain, found the net with his left foot off an assist from Lias.
Falls also features Brazilian foreign-exchange student Loic Scandian. Both Mendoza and Scandian recently became eligible to play for the Black Tigers.
"Diego and Loic have helped us, especially in terms of our energy," Ortopan said.
Falls' third goal may have been the most impressive.
From approximately 45 yards away, junior Evan Hodson sent a free kick over the head of Blue Devils' senior goalkeeper Tommy Kilway and into the net.
"It was more of a service to the box, but we'll say he put it in," Ortopan said with a smile.
Tallmadge came to a life a bit in the second half.
The Blue Devils finally got on the board when a foul was called on Falls in its penalty box.
Senior midfielder Mitch Makuch took the penalty kick and his shot found the net to cut Tallmadge's deficit to 3-1 with 29:08 left.
The Blue Devils had some chances to close the gap, but the Black Tigers' defense was able to stop Tallmadge's passes to the middle of the field throughout the afternoon.
Falls put it away with 6:37 remaining.
A hand ball was called on the Blue Devils and senior Ryan Kerby converted the penalty kick for the final goal.
"We played hard to the whistle," Tallmadge senior defender Jerry Walsh said. "We didn't give up. Because of the field, we couldn't play our usual passing style. We had some bad bounces."
The Black Tigers had a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal and a 3-0 edge in corner kicks. Falls' senior goalie Tanner Treptow made four saves in the nets.
The Black Tigers were scheduled to visit Suburban League crossover foe Kent Roosevelt Oct. 6. Results were not available at press time.
Falls is set to conclude its regular season with a date at National Conference rival Twinsburg Oct. 10. Play is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.