The Archbishop Hoban boys soccer team broke its trend of winning matches by two goals Saturday night.
But don’t worry, Knights fans. Your team still won by defeating the visiting North Canton Hoover Vikings 3-0 at Dowed Field in Akron.
Juniors Kevin Outwater, Michael Londa and Shane Wiedt each scored a goal for the Knights (9-0-0), who have won two times by 2-0 scores and six times by 3-1 scores this season.
“I have been around soccer for 30 years and I have never seen a 3-1 result six times during an eight-game span,” Hoban coach Tavi Muresan said. “We have had a couple of 2-0 wins, too. We’ll take this one.”
The Vikings (4-4-1) struggled for much of the evening against a Knights team that is ranked No. 3 in the Division II state coaches poll.
Hoban held an edge in shots on goal (11-2) and corner kicks (8-4).
Knights junior goalkeeper Andrew Markowski made two saves to notch the shutout.
“We have a talented group,” Muresan said. “We try to dominate the game and possess the ball as much as we can. I’m happy because they have fun. I think we play the game in an enjoyable way that is fun for the players and fun for the fans in the crowd.”
Outwater ran forward from his midfield position to give the Knights a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute with a goal off an assist from sophomore midfielder Matty McGee.
The Knights added a second goal in the 39th minute when Londa, a forward, kicked the ball into the net after a pass from Wiedt.
Wiedt, a defender, concluded the scoring with a header in the 73rd minute off a corner kick by McGee.
“It is definitely a lot of fun with all the talent on this team,” Wiedt said. “Our team is very fluid with the ball.”
Forward Paul Gutbrod, midfielder Tim Delaney and defender Artie Dobbins continued their solid play as senior captains for the Knights.
“I can’t feel much better,” Delaney said. “We have a great team. We’re a talented group and I feel like we can go far [in the Division II state tournament].”
Senior Justin Spear and juniors Ben Easton, Jordan Sarver and Ben Naragon also contributed as starters Saturday night.
“We all put in a lot of hard work over the summer to improve,” Naragon said. “We mesh very well together.”
The effort in the offseason has allowed Hoban to outscore opponents 25-6.
Included in the nine victories are triumphs over area teams Green, Lake, Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy and St. Vincent-St. Mary.
Muresan said upcoming matches with Coventry, Highland, Western Reserve Academy and Walsh Jesuit should help prepare Hoban for the postseason.
Muresan, 46, is in his second year as Hoban’s coach. He is a native of Romania and has been in the United States for 10 years. . . . The Knights matched their win total from last season Saturday. Hoban went 9-7-1 last season.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or email@example.com. Read the high school blog at www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.