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Zsombor Onodi '13 Goal

An Opening Day Victory for the Soccer Cats

By Gianluca DiGiacomo '22, 08/22/21, 2:30PM EDT


The Wildcats open the 2021 season with a 6-0 victory against Avon Lake.

AVON LAKE, Oh - On Saturday, August 21, the Wildcats opened their season after a long-awaited return to the pitch against the Avon Lake Shoremen, a strong side in the Greater Cleveland scene and a team that has posed problems to the Wildcats in recent years.

With a new year and hundreds of challenges coming their way, the Wildcats were very ready to handle the great deals of pressure they will be under this season as the number one ranked team in the country.

The Cats lined up with a brilliant starting XI, as there was a great sense of relief to be back on the pitch to begin their journey to bring glory to the program once again.

The Cats started in blistering fashion, as just two minutes into the match, senior Nathan Smith made a nice overlapping run, cutting inside slightly, and buried a solid ground shot into the near post to kick off the scoring for the Wildcats this season, stunning the opposition and setting the tempo for the rest of the match.

As the game progressed, the Wildcats slowly began to situate themselves in cruise control throughout the match, as Nolan Spicer and Zsombor Onodi linked up wonderfully on the following two goals, both scoring and assisting each other in 12 minutes, as the Wildcats came into the half with a comfortable 3-0 lead.

The Cats maintained their excellent form from the preseason, not only in the offensive side of things, but the defensive as well, as the backline of Sullivan - Vargo - Folds - Smith did great transitionally and prevented any real hassle for each other and our keeper Pat McLaughlin.

The beginning of the second half proved to be no different, as not even two minutes into the second half, the Wildcats put in another goal as a ball in from Sullivan took a deflection from an opposing player and went into the net to make the score 4-0.

Despite the comfortable lead, the Cats never stopped running and pressuring, a true showing of perseverance, from the starters to the bench, showing impressive depth and cooperation.

Luciano Pechota got on the scoresheet in the 48th minute, receiving a ball coming into the middle. He hesitated beautifully to send the defender crashing to the ground for a slide tackle as the ball goes past him and puts some finesse on a strike into the bottom right-hand corner.

Finally, with 10 minutes left, Ashton Daher scored a very nice near post finish off of a corner kick to make it 6-0. The match finished 6-0, with an incredible outing from the Wildcats and tremendous all-around team performance. Hopefully, this showing will be a foreshadowing of things to come during the remainder of the season.

The Cats will continue their season on August 24 at 7:00 p.m. against Twinsburg, looking to pick up where they left off against the Shoremen. Stay tuned on the SIBN, with yours truly and the rest of the crew!