MEDINA: There would be no 0-0 draw Thursday at Medina Memorial Stadium.
Not on Senior Night for the Medina boys soccer team, which started all 11 seniors on the roster and played a spirited regular season match to defeat Archbishop Hoban 3-0.
Medina coach Mark Malikowski said it was “the perfect time for us to have an offensive onslaught heading into the postseason.”
The Bees (7-1-8) scored three first-half goals to dispatch the Knights (11-3-1).
“We played really well on Tuesday [Twinsburg 0-0], and even though we didn’t get a result, we did so many things well, and the goal today before the postseason was no steps backwards,” Malikowski said.
Medina took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute when senior Aaron Liezert scored a goal off an assist from sophomore Jacob Schaefer.
“That lifted our spirits pretty high and got us back into the groove,” Liezert said. “That got things rolling again and gave us a little more hope.”
The Bees extended their lead to 2-0 in the 31st minute when senior Brandon Hough netted a goal off an assist from senior Tommy Lear assist.
“We were confident after Aaron scored,” Hough said. “We were like, ‘Yeah, let’s get some more.’ Then we got the second one and we were like, ‘Let’s just keep going.’ We hadn’t scored in four or five games. It felt good for everybody.”
Medina upped its edge to 3-0 in the 37th minute with a goal by senior Austin Schweppe.
“I was just thrilled with my first goal of the season,” Schweppe said. “It was just a perfect ball by our center mid, [junior] Noah Hastings. He played it through and I split the center defenders and popped it in.”
Medina has outscored opponents 17-4 this year. The shutout is the 13th this season, which sets a school record. Seven of the shutouts ended in a 0-0 draw.
“It feels amazing,” Bees senior goalkeeper Dean McNeil said. “Personally, getting the record is great. I can’t thank my defense enough. Eric [Vinborg], Connor [Dease], Ben [Case] and Jacob [Schaefer] have been phenomenal back there. They are the reason I have the record. Aside from that, scoring three goals is our season high. We couldn’t ask for a better performance going into the playoffs.”
McNeil, Case, Austin Horvath, Matthew Rayburn, Nick Steiner, Andrew Steidl, and Jared Vidika also started on Senior Night.
Hoban has outscored opponents 29-11 this year.
“I know what was the problem; we played Sunday, Tuesday and today,” Hoban coach Tavi Muresan said. “We had no recovery. That was the biggest issue for us. We didn’t have proper recovery time. We play another game on Saturday. The schedule is a little bit not right at the end of the season. Under normal conditions, we can play with Medina. We had a very good game Tuesday [against Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin] and we won the [North Coast League Blue Division] championship. That was a goal this season.”
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.