YOUNGSTOWN – Two weeks after their first matchup, Ursuline and Salem met again. While the Quakers hoped to turn the tables in the rematch, Ursuline held strong, defeating Salem 2-0 in a Division II, Akron 1 Sectional Bracket finals matchup.
“I thought the game was a good fight”, said Ireland coach Joshua Auden. “Salem, we played them about two weeks ago and beat them 3-0, so I knew it was going to be a fight this time too. They came out, it was a good game, it was competitive. I think Salem came out strong and we got to that intensity and we got a win.
The Irish got on the board after less than three minutes when Junior Abe Rogers hit the back of the net.
By the end of the competition, Ursuline had put shot after shot into the net, but only hit one more time. Sophomore Gage Sedoris found the net with about 13 minutes remaining. An aggressive attack that kept Salem out of the offensive third for much of the game worked wonders for the Irish.
Match planning for a team you’ve just played against provides their ups and downs. Things went well for Ursuline, however, as the Irish anticipated and planned around the adjustments Salem would make.
“It kind of gives you a tactical advantage,” said Auden. “We have seen that they have adapted. They tried to play on the outside and swing it back to try and catch us on our inside because we’re running a threesome, but we were prepared for that. Shut that down because we thought they were going to try that.”
Salem is graduating from a senior class of four, including captains Tim Stephens and Cameron Kelm. The off-season won’t last long for the Quakers, however, as Salem’s side will play indoors through the winter to stay fresh.
“(The Season) Never Ends” said Quakers coach Travis Zeigler. “We’re going to go straight from here (inside). We’ve already registered two teams, so we’re going to take a 16U team and an 18U team inside and put those guys to work. We usually start in January, train twice a week off-season and next it’s summer and we’re outside preparing for the pre-season tournaments.”
Ursuline advances to the district semifinals where she will face off against Kenston. The start time is set for Tuesday 6pm at a location to be determined. This is a side the Irish have not been able to see but they are looking forward to facing a new opponent.
“We’ve never played Kenston, but we’re looking forward to playing new people. They’re a very strong team but we want to keep up and we should be able to walk away with a win if we play our game.”
Ursuline goes into the game with Kenston still trying to tighten up a few things, namely making the most of the chemistry.
“We’re still working on our chemistry and working on some passes in the last third.” said Auden. “That’s sort of the last piece of the puzzle we’re working on.”
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