MEDINA: The first haymaker in a girls soccer fight that very well could have a sequel was delivered by Strongsville and Vanessa DiNardo.

It happened Wednesday when the Mustangs beat Medina 2-1 on its home field in Greater Cleveland Conference action to grab a leg up in the league race.

To understand just how big the win was by Strongsville (9-0-3, 5-0), it snapped a 47-game regular-season unbeaten streak by the Bees that dated back to Sept. 20, 2014 (Brunswick, 2-1).

It also extended Strongsville’s regular-season unbeaten streak to 42.

What’s more, Strongsville, which is ranked third in the state coaches poll and No. 13 in the nation by Top Drawer Soccer, knocked off No. 1 Medina, which was fifth nationally.

“It’s awesome,” DiNardo said. “Especially coming here to their home place. Since I’ve been here we’ve tied them every single year, so getting a win was amazing.

“Knowing how they play and now going forward if we play them again in district, we know what they do if we play them.”

Indeed, the win is even bigger with a Medina Division I district looming in a few weeks. In what is arguably the toughest district in the state, the Mustangs should be the No. 1 seed and that’s big with the likes of Medina, Copley, Wadsworth, North Royalton and 2015 Division II state champion Archbishop Hoban all bundled into one bracket.

It also sent a bit of a message to the Bees, who are 0-5-3 against Strongsville since their last win over the Mustangs (Sept. 11, 2010, 2-0).

“It gives us the confidence we need going into the playoffs,” Strongsville midfielder/forward Kayla Wypasek said. “Really who we are as a team, we haven’t reached our full potential. To see this, it’s amazing to know what we can do.”

The grit for Strongsville in this one was provided by DiNardo, who pressured a Medina back line that had allowed just two goals coming in.

The University of Cincinnati recruit continued to hound Medina (10-1-1, 4-1) the entire night and eventually put in the game-winner by grabbing a through ball from Wypasek.

She outraced Michigan recruit Janiece Joyner to the ball and beat Tori DeLappi to the near post with 32:37 remaining.

“Every single playoffs — and not just the playoffs, every season — whenever we needed Vanessa, she shows up,” Wypasek said. “We all feed off of her. It’s just amazing what she does.”

The first-half theater was almost as great as the finished product.

DiNardo scored first for the Mustangs with 21:23 left before halftime, taking a pass from Wy­pasek and bending around a diving DeLappi into the left corner.

Medina initially had a chance to tie things up when MB Blakemore was taken down in the box with 18:07 left, but Tarah Roller’s attempt hit the crossbar.

Haley Anspach was there for the rebound, but keeper Nora Potter got to the ball before it found the right corner.

The Bees picked up some momentum heading into halftime when Blakemore was fouled 20 yards outside of net with 2.6 seconds left.

Lily Menssen took a half second on the kick, but bent it around the wall. The shot hit the left post before trickling into net.

“This one is incredibly hard to swallow tonight, but we’ll wake up tomorrow morning and get back to work” Medina coach Doug Coreno said. “At the end of the day, this one cost us the conference championship. We’ve won three of those in a row. We have bigger goals.”

“It gives us the confidence we need going into the playoffs. Really who we are as a team, we haven’t reached our full potential. To see this, it’s amazing to know what we can do.”

Kayla Wypasek

Strongsville midfielder/forward