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Comets Streak into Playoff with 6-2 Offense Explosion over Cuyahoga Falls

 Comets Streak into Playoff with 6-2 Offense Explosion over Cuyahoga Falls

The Solon Comets offense exploded for a 6-2 win over the Cuyahoga Falls Black Tigers in the second round of the 2019 OHSAA Boys Soccer Tournament last night. The Comets tallied three goals in each half to end the Black Tigers season. It was the 11th win of the season for the Comets as they matched their win total for 2018. The Comets win sets up a repeat of last year’s District Semi Final match with the Stow Bulldogs.

The Comets and Black Tigers had never played each other before last night’s match. Everyone knew the Comets offense was capable of putting up a lot of crooked numbers, but the Comets goals were all dramatic and set the pace for the entire night. The Black Tigers are probably ready to put off a rematch for a while too.

The Cuyahoga Falls coaching staff must have warned their players about the Comets speed and especially Senior Forward Billy Furlong. Either they didn't listen or weren't ready for Furlong who just 90 seconds into the game streaked down the left side of the field and beat his man on the baseline to put a beautiful high arching cross onto Junior Forward Andrew Messmer's (7) foot and into the back of the net. 1-0 Comets.

After registering his team leading 13th assist, Furlong was ready to score his first goal of the playoffs and sixth of the season too. While almost all of Furlong's goals are dramatic, this one was noteworthy for an entirely different reason. Junior Goalkeeper Zach Baldwin setup Furlong with a punt of more than 60+ yards down the middle of the field that flew over the Black Tigers defense. Furlong ran onto the ball and buried his shot from the top of the penalty box and into the right hand corner of the goal. It was Baldwin's first assist of his high school career in goal. 2-0 Comets.

The Comets gave up a goal on a breakaway to the Black Tigers to make it 2-1 but the Comets offense responded quickly. Less than two minutes after giving up the goal, Junior Forward Jake Moss found Senior Midfielder Ethan Berkovitz in traffic at the top of the Black Tigers penalty box. Berkovitz buried his shot to put the Comets back up 3-1 at halftime.

The Black Tigers seemed to realize their season was coming to an end at the beginning of the second half. They were a lot more aggressive and controlled the pace of the game for the first 15 minutes of the half. Their hard work paid off with a rebound goal to close the score to 3-2.

The Comets weathered the Black Tigers attack and went back on offense and right in the middle of it all was Junior Forward Eric Nouafo. With 17 minutes left in the game in a scrum right in front of the Black Tigers goal, Nouafo's foot found the ball and he kicked it over the goal line to give the Comets a 4-2 lead. Nouafo wasn't done though. Two minutes later Jake Moss won the right base line and set a beautiful cross to the back door where Nouafo (11) headed it into the goal to make it 5-2 Comets.

The Comets finished up scoring on a 20-yard beauty from Berkovitz (15) that was a laser shot into the upper lefthand corner of the goal. It was Berkovitz's second goal of the game.

 Coach Greenhill's Men of the Match were Berkovitz and Nouafo. The Comets are now 11-5-1 and will be looking for their 12 victory of the season against the Bulldogs. Stow won this game last year 3-0, but that was last season. The Comets are ready to defend their home turf on Wednesday and advance to the District Final.