BATH TWP.: Revere junior Brandon Taylor approached the ball about 40 yards from the desired destination.
Was he thinking about a scoring a goal to defeat rival Copley?
“I was,” Taylor said. “That was one of our plays where everybody runs across and I kick the ball and hopefully it skips through, and that is what it did.”
Taylor delivered the game-winning goal in the 56th minute when he right-footed the ball to break a tie match. It gave host Revere a 2-1 victory Tuesday night in a matchup of two highly ranked Suburban League teams that are anticipating making deep postseason runs once again.
“You have to start with the Copley-Revere rivalry,” Revere coach Sandor Jakab said. “Regardless of the records, you know that this will be a match. We knew Copley is a disciplined and very well-coached team. They are a talented team. We believe in ourselves as well and we felt that there were areas we could exploit.”
The Minutemen, ranked No. 2 in the Division II state coaches poll, improved to 11-0-1 overall and 5-0-0 in the Suburban League.
The Indians, ranked No. 3 in the Division I state poll, fell to 10-1-1 and 4-1-0.
“It seems like every year we play those guys, they come out on the positive end of things,” Copley coach David Antal said. “I will absolutely credit their work rate. They work very hard. Their style of play also differs drastically from ours.”
Rain and wind proved to be a nuisance for everyone on the pitch and in the crowd at Joseph F. Pappano Stadium-InfoCision Field.
Revere took a 1-0 lead five minutes into the match when freshman forward Daniel Branch scored a goal off a pass from junior midfielder Nolan Dyko.
“I thought this was our game to win at that point,” said Branch, who has eight goals. “We just kept wanting to pound the shots on them.”
Copley evened the score at 1-1 just over three minutes into the second half when junior John Harter scored a goal following a pass from senior Brandon Gathagan.
“Copley deserves to be ranked where they are at because they are a strong team,” Jakab said. “With that said, they did what good teams do and found a way to score and put us on our heels a little bit. That challenged us to refocus ourselves.”
Branch said he was confident he and his teammates would refocus. Taylor’s shining moment came 12 minutes later.
“We usually don’t practice that from 40 yards out,” Taylor said of his seventh goal of the season. “It is usually 35 yards and about one out of 10 or so will go in. It just depends on the day.”
Jakab was all smiles after the Taylor’s shot found the net.
“Brandon had a good one,” Jakab said. “We rehearse all the situations and we want to be ready to the best of our ability.”
Junior Joel Gerberich was solid at goalkeeper for Revere with assistance from his defenders — Taylor, seniors Hazem Najjar and CJ Hlay and junior Andrew Robinson.
Minutemen juniors Chase Somple and Nolan Dyko played key roles in possessing the ball from their midfield spots along with sophomore Luke Kasson.
Branch, senior Eric Zeno and junior Jordan Marich consistently applied pressure to the Copley defense.
“Coming into the game we knew that they had holes that we could attack,” Taylor said. “We wanted to destroy them mentally, and once we got that second goal they kind of lost focus and started fouling.”
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at https://ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.