Nate Rausch is enjoying his first season as Woodridge boys soccer coach.
The Bulldogs entered Thursday with a 9-0-0 overall record, which includes a 5-0-0 mark in the Portage Trail Conference-County Division.
The perfect start comes after Woodridge finished last season with two wins and 14 losses.
“We have a new coaching staff that brought a new level of confidence and encouraged the kids to play together as a team and not as individuals,” said the 25-year-old Rausch.
Woodridge joins Archbishop Hoban, Copley, GlenOak, Medina, Revere, Twinsburg and Western Reserve Academy to give the area eight undefeated boys soccer teams.
Senior Mitch Hepburn leads Woodridge with 16 goals and six assists. Senior goalkeeper Daniel Arguelles has seven shutouts.
Rausch also relies on seniors Marc Abouabadallah and Kyle Sprietzer and sophomore Matt Tannous.
Suburban rivals reign
Revere and Copley are both 4-0-0 in Suburban League matches.
Junior Jordan Marich leads the Minutemen (9-0-1) with eight goals. Freshman Daniel Branch and senior Nolan Dyko both have seven goals. Juniors Brandon Taylor and Chase Somple and senior Eric Zeno have four goals apiece.
“The kids came in prepared after working really hard in the offseason,” Revere coach Sandor Jakab said. “We had a very good year last year and the year before [finishing as Division II state runner-up both times], and they want to keep it going. They work very well together.”
Revere, ranked No. 2 in the Division II coaches poll, is outscoring opponents 41-1. Junior goalkeeper Joel Gerberich has nine shutouts.
Copley, which is ranked in a tie for seventh with Twinsburg in Division I, advanced to a Division I state semifinal last season.
Freshman Chris Brennan leads the Indians (9-0-0) with four goals. Senior Colin Burton and sophomore Skye Harter have three goals each. Sophomore goalkeeper Ameer Mubarak has seven shutouts, and senior Alan Du and junior Michael Dichlian are top defenders.
“When my assistant coach Kyle Geosits and I came to Copley five years ago, we had a plan of what we wanted to do,” Copley coach David Antal said. “The kids have responded very well. They have earned everything.”
Highly ranked Hoban
Archbishop Hoban is No. 3 in Division II at 8-0-0 overall and 2-0-0 in the North Coast League.
Senior Tim Delaney has scored six goals and junior Michael Londa has five goals. Seniors Paul Gutbrod and Artie Dobbins are also key Knights along with juniors Shane Wiedt, Ben Easton and Andrew Markowski.
“I have a fantastic group of players with great character,” Hoban coach Tavi Muresan said. “We have had very good results through eight games because we have a very good collection of talent.”
Undefeated NOC foes
Medina and Twinsburg are both 7-0-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division.
The Bees are ranked No. 4 in Division I. Nate Libertowski (12 goals) is a top senior and juniors Aaron Liezert (10 goals), Jared Vidika and Brandon Hough and sophomore Noah Hastings are also leaders.
“They have created a lot of chances and scored a lot of goals,” Medina coach Mark Malikowski said. “They have also defended very well too.”
The Tigers feature junior Chase Betenson (10 goals) and senior Cory Weddington (seven goals). Junior Jake Krieger and seniors Frank Candau and Matt Kelly are also key players.
“These kids are really putting it all together and having fun,” Twinsburg coach Michael Lally said.
GlenOak coach Noah Dockus said the Golden Eagles are 5-0-1 overall and 3-0-0 in the Federal League because of the leadership and production from seniors Jake Pastore, Mike Hronec, Josh Ippolito and Trey Belzer and junior Nathan Adelman.
The Summit County Cross Country Coaches Association selected four runners of the week: Sarah Wolanske of Hudson and Brian Brennan of Walsh Jesuit in Division I, and Patrick Ferguson of Tallmadge and Katie Frego of Archbishop Hoban in Division II. . . . North football coach Mike Laktash lauded the play of seniors William Duhart and Caleb Kennedy and sophomore Malik Alqaadir in the Vikings’ 27-0 win over East in Week 4.
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.