AVON - It`s fair to say one side was a bit red-faced at Saturday`s 10th annual Lorain County Soccer Coaches Association All-Star Games at Avon Middle School.
Both the boys and girls Red Squads prevailed against the Blue Squads in the annual event. The Red stars won the boys game 4-2 after the Red team prevailed 1-0 in the girls game.
Goals by Open Door`s Aaron Overs, Avon Lake`s Dom Strippoli and Amherst`s Dave Henry broke open the second half. Overs broke a 1-1 tie with 18:02 left in the game, then Strippoli padded the Red lead with a goal at 15:19 to make it 3-1.
"I got lucky," said Overs. "I went to the back post. The goalie slipped and I put it in."
Elyria Catholic`s Anthony Saxton, who led the Panthers with 28 goals and 11 assists this season, had the Red team`s first goal of the night at 28:16 of the first half. He also assisted on Henry`s goal.
"We got a better feel for our talents and abilities in the second half," said Saxton. "That helped us to make some harder runs and put the ball into some tighter spaces. We weren`t too worried about the score."
Saxton will also play Nov. 17 in the Greater Cleveland All-Star Game at Brush High.
Forward Angela Meggitt and center midfielder Hannah Conn of Amherst were the difference for the Red team in the girls game. Conn assisted Meggitt`s game-winner with 5:25 left for the victory.
"I`m excited," said Meggitt. "I didn`t want the game to end up in a 0-0 tie. I`m just glad with the way things turned out."
Meggitt and Conn were teammates for four years and have been classmates since fifth grade. Meggitt`s goal made up for Conn`s near-miss at the 33rd minute of the second half. Conn`s shot hit the inside of the right post.
"I really thought that we were the better team," said Meggitt, who had 19 goals and 12 assists this year. "We meshed together well."
Meggitt`s words weren`t idle chit-chat. The Red stars outshot the Blue team 17-4.
"We had a lot of opportunities," said Conn. "We just needed to capitalize."
Southview fullback Andria Vasques twice thwarted potential goals by the Red stars. She bailed out Lake Ridge goalie Halle Ludwig with 1:23 left in the first half, then denied another midway in the second half to rescue Firelands goalie Cari SanFelippo. Both times, Vasques chased down loose balls deep in the box.
"I didn`t think I would feel that sad until our last game of the season (against Avon Lake, a shootout loss in sectionals) was over," said Conn. "Our team was all so sad about it."
Fortunately, Saturday`s all-star game gave Meggitt and Conn one last chance to share happier memories.
Avon Lake`s Taylor Miller was the Division I Lorain County Player of the Year, while Firelands` Rachel Melendez was the county`s top player in Division II. Amherst`s Roseanne Kuncel (Division I) and Firelands` Andy Marsh (Division II) were county Coaches of the Year.
Avon Lake`s Tommy Kuzniar and North Ridgeville`s Josh Miller shared Lorain County Player of the Year honors in Division I, while Wellington`s Christian Huelsman took the Division II award and Oberlin`s John Zapotechne was the top player in Division III. Amherst`s Brett Thompson and North Ridgeville`s Dan Blagojevic shared the Division I Coach of the Year award, Wellington`s Bill Little won the award in Division II and Lake Ridge`s Ryan Macraild was the top Division III coach.
Four players each received $500 scholarships from the LCSCA. Elyria`s Maria Ilievska, Avon`s Nicole Lavelle and Elyria Catholic`s Nicholas Levis and Anthony Saxton were the recipients.
GOALS: Anthony Saxton (Elyria Catholic/Red), Aaron Overs (Open Door/Red), Dom Strippoli (Avon Lake/Red), Shawn Pincura (Midview/Blue), Greg Stawicki (Wellington/Blue), Dave Henry (Amherst/Red). ASSISTS: Strippoli, Chris Rybarcyk (Keystone/Red), Saxton. HALFTIME: Red, 1-0.
GOAL: Meggitt (Amherst/Red). ASSIST: Conn (Amherst/Red). SAVES: (Red) Becky Machovec (Columbia/Red) 2; Brittany Cruz (Amherst/Red) 0. (Blue) Halle Ludwig (Lake Ridge/Blue) 10; Cari SanFelippo (Firelands/Blue) 4. SHOTS ON GOAL: Red 10-7-17. Blue 2-2-4. HALFTIME: 0-0.