COPLEY TWP.: Every forward dreams of having a one-on-one breakaway moment with a goalkeeper in a soccer match.
Revere sophomore Daniel Branch and senior Nolan Dyko each got to experience it Tuesday night when they broke free from Copley defenders and beat the keeper.
Branch and Dyko’s goals, combined with a goal by senior Jordan Marich allowed the undefeated and No. 1 ranked Minutemen in Division II to defeat the Indians 3-1 in a Suburban League matchup on InfoCision Field at Copley Stadium.
“I get these opportunities quite frequently, so I know what I am going to do,” said Branch, who leads Revere with 14 goals. “I have the same approach every single time. I saw the goalie came out and just put it around him.”
The Minutemen (11-0-1, 4-0-0) and Indians (7-4-1, 4-1-0) each played a physical match with hard challenges for possession happening on a consistent basis. Officials gave out seven yellow cards, one red card and had several conversations with coaches and players.
“This was a great learning experience,” Revere coach Sandor Jakab said. “Copley is obviously a very difficult foe. They are well-coached and an excellent team. On top of that, it’s a rivalry. It doesn’t matter what the records are. When these two teams get together, it is going to be a tremendous game.”
Branch snapped a 1-1 tie with his goal in the 54th minute after senior goalkeeper Joel Gerberich booted the ball forward. Dyko’s goal came in the 71st minute.
“That was a good through ball from [senior defender] Andrew Robinson,” Dyko said. “I just focused on going to the goal and finishing.”
Marich gave Revere a 1-0 lead with a goal in the 22nd minute following a pass from senior forward Brian Gillette. Revere held the lead into halftime, but Copley drew even at 1-1 a mere 51 seconds into the second half when junior midfielder Skye Harter converted a penalty kick for a goal.
“I just didn’t hesitate with my shot,” Marich said. “I think the best thing to do is not overthink it. When you get the ball, you just have to think about putting it away.”
Revere has put away a lot of its opportunities this season and holds a 63-4 advantage in goals over its opponents.
Seniors Brandon Taylor, Chase Somple and Blake Easterling played strong for the Minutemen on Tuesday along with junior Luke Kasson and sophomores John Sternasty, Simon Kirkendall and Mark Oleson.
Copley was led by junior goalkeeper Ameer Mubarak, sophomore forward Chris Brennan and its co-captains, junior defender Michael Dichlian and senior forward John Harter.
“Year in and year out we are subject to a couple of bad breaks,” Copley coach David Antal said. “Those bad breaks happen to us, but for Revere they work hard and those things happen when you work hard. Those are your rewards. That is how they play. For us, I talked to the kids after the game and they were pretty upset. I think we played the game the right away and we looked good. We created chances, but Joel is a great goalkeeper and having Brandon Taylor back there helps them. They work hard for what they get. I feel bad for our kids. We have had a rough season with some injuries. I think they deserve better.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.