TWINSBURG: *NSYNC was an American boy band popular with the teeny boppers in the mid-1990s.
Out of sync was the Twinsburg girls soccer team on Tuesday, probably for the first time all season.
Though the boy band slowly faded into musical oblivion, the host Tigers were vanquished from the Division I postseason quicker than anticipated, falling 4-0 to tournament warhorse Hudson in a district semifinal on a clear and chilly night.
It was the first loss in a record- setting season for Twinsburg, which entered the game as the top-ranked team in the state coaches poll with a 16-0-1 record.
The Tigers appeared discombobulated from the opening whistle. Perhaps it was because they were making the program’s first appearance in district play. Or, perhaps it was just one of those nights.
Either way they fell behind early. The harder they tried to rally the more confused they looked. You can get away with that against the soccer have-nots, you will not get away with it against the Hudsons of the girls soccer world.
Twinsburg defeated Hudson, 2-1, in September but the Lady Explorers (14-2-2) made the most of their rematch and will advance to host Saturday’s 3 p.m. district final against second-ranked Walsh Jesuit, a 4-0 winner over Warren Howland in the other district semifinal.
Sophomore forward Erin Torrence gave Hudson the only goal it would need when she opened the scoring about eight minutes in. A little more than 15 minutes later, sophomore Alexandra Wright made it 2-0 with an unassisted goal, turning unmarked on a ball and driving it just under the crossbar.
From that point on the Explorers, ranked seventh in the state, were content to play defense, frequently dropping nine defenders in front of goalkeeper Sarah L’Hommedieu.
Kate Waters extinguished what fight was left in the Tigers early in the second half, converting a pass from sophomore Victoria Breeden. Sophomore Sara Kossler closed the scoring with an unassisted goal with 11:50 remaining, rebounding a shot that was initially saved by goalkeeper Nicole McGlinchy.
“We just didn’t play well,” Twinsburg coach Chris Gentille said. “We made bad decisions with the ball in the back and we didn’t stay with marks on the outside. Give Hudson credit. They played well and took advantage of our mistakes. Sometimes, when you have a season like we’ve had, it’s hard to bring it every night.”
The statistics supported the final score. Hudson had 14 shots on goal and had six corner kicks to two shots and three corners for Twinsburg.
“We were a little disappointed in the result when we came here to play early in the season,” Hudson coach Costa Kalorides said. “The girls came out with a lot of energy and we created a lot of opportunities.”