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Soccer Cats Open Season With a Pair of Wins

By Jack Brennan '24, 08/27/22, 10:45AM EDT


Fresh off their state champion season, the Wildcats opened the 2022 campaign against Avon Lake and Twinsburg from Wasmer Field.

Saint Ignatius vs. Avon Lake

The Wildcats welcomed the Avon Lake Shoremen on Saturday afternoon for their home opener at Wasmer Field. Coming off their third straight state championship and being ranked first nationally, the Wildcat side was eager to take the field, which showed in the match.

The Wildcats would open up the scoring in the 13th minute. Avon Lake seemed to have a promising attack when center back Ernie Vargo would make a tackle, sparking a counterattack for the Cats. Moments later, Zsombor Onodi would play a ball forward to Nolan Spicer, setting the senior captain up for a magnificent shot on goal, earning their first goal of this 2022 season.

The scoring would continue later in the second half when Nolan Spicer would play a ball through to Nathan Trickett, who would sneak a shot past the keeper and extend the lead to 2-0. 

The Wildcats would continue creating promising opportunities but ultimately couldn't find the back of the net and entered halftime still holding a 2-0 lead. 

Coming back out of the half, they would make some strategy changes, getting more aggressive with their formation by pushing Owen Sullivan further up the field. They would go with the same eleven players who started the game and continue in their tried and true 4-1-3-2 formation.

The Wildcats would succeed with their more aggressive tactics early in the second half. In the 44th minute, Brady Mueller played a give and go to Zsombor Onodi, who would find the back of the net, making it a 3-0 game.

Not long after, in the 47th minute, the Wildcats would be awarded a corner kick from the left side of the pitch. Junior Nick Mikulec would play the corner right to the head of an unmarked Owen Sullivan, who would execute a solid finish and increase the lead to 4-0.

Owen Sullivan would find his second goal of the game in the 53rd minute, as he would dribble a ball from Brady Mueller to the edge of the six-yard box and slot through the Wildcats' 5th goal of the contest.

Five goals would be where the Wildcats' scoring would end. The defense would continue to hold for the rest of the match. When the full-time whistle blew, it was the Wildcat side coming away with the first victory of their 2022 campaign with a 5-0 win over Avon Lake. 

Saint Ignatius vs. Twinsburg

The Saint Ignatius Soccer Team took on the Twinsburg Tigers at Wasmer Field on Tuesday night. The Wildcats came into the game after a 5-0 victory over Avon Lake the previous Saturday. The Tigers also came in from a win, having claimed a 2-0 victory over Solon. 

The Wildcats came out in their traditional 4-1-3-2 formation, whereas Twinsburg showed a 4-3-3. The Cats would play a high line in hopes of quickly penetrating the Twinsburg back line. 

The Wildcats would find early success in the third minute when Zsombor Onodi would find the ball at his feet and would strike the ball right around the keeper and to the back of the goal.

SIBN Player of the Game vs. Twinsburg: Owen Maruca

They would continue to get chances but struggle to find the back of the net for the next ten minutes. In the 14th minute, Owen Sullivan would play a ball through to Spicer, who would chip the ball over the keeper's outstretched arms.

Twinsburg would only concede four corner kicks throughout the entire game. This was enough for Sullivan, as in the 17th minute, he scored on a corner from Nathan Trickett, giving the Cats a 3-0 lead. It's Sullivan's second header goal in as many games.

Twinsburg proved that they would not go down without a fight in the 29th minute, when Twinsburg senior Santo Scolaro would head in a cross past Patrick McLaughlin, getting Twinsburg on the board but still trailing 3-1.

The Cats refused to be rattled by the Twinsburg goal when in the 30th minute, less than 60 seconds after the Twinsburg goal, Trickett would cross a pass over to Sullivan, who would make a clinical finish, making the score 4-1. Sullivan's second goal of the match and Trickett's second assist.

The Wildcats had one more goal before halftime, as Nolan Spicer would find himself at the end of a Carter Snyder cross and score his second goal of the game.

5-1 was the score going into halftime. However, the Cats were not finished. They discussed keeping their foot on the gas pedal and extending their lead. Coming out of the half, they would stay with the starting lineup but switch into a 3-1-4-2, a more aggressive formation.

Their change of formation would prove to pay off very quickly. In the 41st minute, Trickett would find his third assist on a pass to Onodi, who would find his second goal, making it 6-1 Wildcats.

The Wildcats would continue to tally on goals by Trickett, Maruca and Daher. And when the full-time whistle blew, it was the Wildcats with a 9-1 victory. They advance to 2-0 on the year, with a 14-1 goal differential. They will take on their Cincinnati rivals, the St. Xavier Bombers, on August 27th in Toledo for the Jesuit Cup at St. John's Jesuit High School. Kick-off is at 2 p.m. and the SIBN will have live coverage.