WADSWORTH - Speed kills and Lorain's boys soccer team found that out Saturday afternoon in the Titans' season-opening match with the Wadsworth Grizzlies.
The Grizzlies' speed and finishing skills overwhelmed the Titans from the opening whistle and resulted in a 7-0 non-conference loss at Art Wright Stadium.
"With just 1-2 scrimmages, the players are still getting adjusted to the pace of the game," Lorain coach Rick Dimacchia said. "They are accustomed to themselves and the skill level isn't matched up, so it's difficult to practice at the pace we need to.
"Now they have an idea of the pace they need to go."
The Titans backline faced a barrage of shots - 32 to be exact - in their season debut and had limited possessions in their offensive third of the field.
In the middle of that bombardment was junior goalkeeper Storm Ferguson (13 saves) who, despite the seven-goal loss, made a handful of solid stops during the Grizzlies' 25 shots on goal.
"He hung in there really well against some really tough shooters and good talent," Dimacchia said. "If this is the first game, I can't wait until the last game to see where he's going to be.
"He's phenomenal. We just need to fix some things in front of him to make sure he doesn't get so many opportunities."
Wadsworth scored four of its five first-half goals in a span of 10 minutes with scoring strikes from Luis Escudero, Cody Lamielle, David Fergusson and Vojtech Slavik. Lamielle added a goal seven minutes later, before Jared Greissing and Escudero added scores in the second half.
"Give credit to Lorain's goalkeeper," Grizzlies coach John Johnson said. "The kid did an amazing job, because it could've been 14-0. We were the better team and we played like it."
Lorain's best look at the net came late in the second half when senior midfielder Robert Dull had his attempt sail high and out of play, one of two Titans shot attempts in the game.
Dimacchia was proud of the way his team battled, however.
Traveling to Wadsworth for the first time in school history and facing a team that year-in and year-out finishes in the upper-half of the Suburban League, the Titans coach thought the non-conference battle was a good test for a program that lost eight players from a team went 6-8-3 a year ago.
"It's one heck of a way to start out with one of the best teams around in the area," Dimacchia said. "We're much better than we were last year and we can see that. It's just that we started off with one of the hardest games of our season.
"We learned a little bit today and now the players know and understand where they have to go and what they have to do this season."
Contact Dan Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wadsworth 7, Lorain 0
Lorain 0 0 - 0
Wadsworth 5 2 - 7
FIRST: W - Luis Escudero (Cody Lamielle), 32:12; W - Lamielle, 27:10; W - David Fergusson (Escudero), 26:51; W - Vojtech Slavik, 21:38; W - Lamielle (Mohammad Falah), 13:24.
SECOND: W - Jared Greissing, N/A; W - Escudero (Jesse Beal), 10:28.
Shots on goal - Lorain 0, Wadsworth 25. Corner kicks - Lorain 0, Wadsworth 4. Saves - Storm Ferguson (L) 13, Eric Black (W) 0, Matt DePero (W) 0.