BRUNSWICK — Statement wins sometimes come with a price.
Goalie Tyler Randolph can probably still show the evidence today after the Wadsworth boys soccer team beat Brunswick 2-0 in non-conference action.
In an incredible performance Saturday, the senior made one save after another to defeat the defending Greater Cleveland Conference champion, including one where he stopped a shot by Nick Demonte outside of the box near the end of the first half.
Demonte laced a laser toward net that Randolph stopped with his stomach. The shot was so hard, the impression of the ball on his abdomen was still visible a full 75 minutes after the game.
“That first-half save was huge,” Wadsworth midfielder Matt Studenic said. “It had the whole crowd screaming. It had Brunswick’s stands going crazy. It’s just one big save that kept us in the game.”
Randolph seemingly was everywhere in helping snap a four-game losing streak against the Blue Devils that dated to Sept. 16, 2004 (3-1).
He made seven saves, many of the spectacular variety, to notch the second straight shutout for the Grizzlies (3-0).
“I thought he was fantastic,” Blue Devils coach Ben Dotson said. “He put up a goose egg against the kids we have up front, and that’s not easy. Kudos to him.”
Wadsworth got on the board eight minutes in on a deflected crossing pass that Studenic put in from the top of the box.
The senior was at it again early in the second half on a direct kick. He bent the ball around the Brunswick wall and stuck it in the bottom right corner past a diving Gavin Ernst to give the Grizzlies the cushion they needed.
With a win over state-ranked Carroll (Ind.) to open the season, the Grizzlies showed they belong. To repeat the performance back in Ohio against the Blue Devils (1-1), who went undefeated in the regular season last year, was another story.
“Last year, they were, ‘Woo,’ a good team,” Studenic said. “This year, we have the guys to go far. This showed that we can hang with the best because they’re one of the best teams in the state, for sure. It showed how good of a team we have and how much of a brotherhood we have.”
That brotherhood stood tall behind a defense that included Ryan Larj, Nathan Reed, Nathan Coard and Josiah Sovine, who took everything thrown at them.
“This is huge,” Wadsworth coach John Johnson said. “To come to their place and get a win, they’re good. They’re dangerous. This is big. It’s big for a lot of reasons.
“We are in the same tournament bracket. That makes it even bigger. The win in Indiana was huge because it was a state-ranked team, but I’m going to put this above it because of who Brunswick is and what it means in the area.”
The Wadsworth junior varsity upended Brunswick 1-0. Mason Warholic scored off an assist by Jacob Elsass. Connor Margo picked up the shutout.
Contact Brad Bournival at email@example.com.
Wadsworth 2, Brunswick 0
WADSWORTH 1 1 — 2
BRUNSWICK 0 0 — 0
W — Matt Studenic, 32:22.
W — Studenic, 37:35.
Shots on goal — Wadsworth 7, Brunswick 7. Corner kicks — Wadsworth 5, Brunswick 2. Saves — Tyler Randolph (W) 7, Gavin Ernst (B) 5. Records — Wadsworth (3-0), Brunswick (1-1). Junior varsity — Wadsworth 1, Brunswick 0.