BAY VILLAGE — The Westshore Cup has resided in the Avon Lake trophy case since 2016.
It has a new home today.
Avon Lake couldn’t overcome 24 turnovers and spent most of the night hunkered down it its defensive end as Bay continued its undefeated season with an easy 17-4 win Thursday.
The Rockets and the Shoregals have been playing for the Westshore Cup annually since 2015, with Avon Lake holding a 3-2 lead in the series.
The Shoregals (1-3) were efficient when they got the ball into the critical scoring area, as junior Abby Schillinger converted two 8-meter free positions in the first half. The problem for Avon Lake was holding onto the ball long enough to give itself a chance to score.
“Right now catching and throwing is a problem for us,” Shoregals coach Darci Gervaise said. “We’ve struggled with it the last few games and it’s so obvious right now. We graduated a lot of girls last year and right now we still have a lot of holes to fill.”
Bay improved to 7-0.
After losing to Avon Lake 19-11 and 15-4 the last two seasons, the Rockets set out from the opening draw to show this year would be different.
Junior Meghan Nasman scored 46 seconds into the game. Sophomore Megan Young followed with three goals in a 1:58 span as the Rockets built a 4-0 lead less than eight minutes into the game.
“This year we have girls with a higher skill level and better field awareness than we’ve had in previous years,” Bay coach Victoria Budzyn said. “And we were winning draws. We have three girls who are strong on the draw and that just gets the ball rolling for the rest of the team.”
The Rockets won 16 draws compared to seven for Avon Lake.
Schillinger scored three of the Avon Lake goals. Junior attack Emily Kirkwood scored the other, just before the end of the first half.
“We know we need to go back to the basics,” Schillinger said. “I know I need to go back to the basics, too, don’t hang your stick, watching the people around you and all of the stuff that we should already be doing.
“We need to work together better as a team. The ball moves faster than your feet so we shouldn’t be running it as much, only when we know we don’t have a good pass. We really need to turn it around right now.”
Young led the Rockets with six goals. Nasman had three and seniors Grace Davenport and Grace Cahill two each.
“This season we’ve beat Rocky River for the first time in the history of our program and now we’ve beat Avon Lake for the first time in the last three years,” Budzyn said. “That’s a very good indicator of our skill level and how our program is growing.”
Although Gervaise knew her Shoregals would be young this year, she kept an ambitious schedule that includes defending Division II state semifinalist Rocky River on Saturday plus games against Avon and Strongsville, all coming in eight days.
“It’s been frustrating and it hasn’t been easy, but I didn’t want to pick games where we were just going to go out and kill somebody. That’s not going to help anybody get better,” Gervaise said. “We’ve got to find a way to stay with these teams. For the moment it is what it is, but I still feel we’re going to come out stronger for having played in these types of games.”
Bay 17, Avon Lake 4
Avon Lake 3 1 — 4
Bay 10 7 — 17
Goals: AL — Abby Schillinger 3, Emily Kirkwood; B — Megan Young 6, Meghan Nasman 3, Grace Davenport 2, Grace Cahill 2, Annie Spies, Halle Koury, Sydney Spence, Alyse Vala.
Assists: B — Young 2, Davenport, Nasman, Kayla Skurski
Goalkeepers: AL — Rachel Matt (11 saves); B — Anna Saccany (3 saves)
Shots on goal: AL — 7; B — 28
Draws: AL — 7, B — 16
Man-up situations: AL — 0-0; B — 0-2
Yellow cards: AL — Kylee Collins, 3:34, Schillinger 36:29.