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Comets are 2019 District Champions with 4-2 Win over Hudson

Comets are 2019 District Champions with 4-2 Win over Hudson    

For the first time since 2015, the Solon Comets are District Champions. The Comets beat the top-seeded Hudson Explorers 4-2 to advance to the Regional Semi Final game on Wednesday. Hudson was ranked #14 in the final OHSSA Division 1 State Poll.

Despite a driving rain and cold temperatures, the Comets offense was once again in high gear and the Explorers had a tough time slowing Solon down. The Comets were on the attack from the opening whistle and had several offensive strikes in the first, 10 minutes of the game, including several corner kicks and shots on goal.

While most teams play hard not to give up a corner kick and instead opt for a throw in, the Comets have a secret weapon for throw ins near the goal: Junior Defender Ryan Funderburg. For the second time in two games, Funderburg lofted a long throw into the Explorers’ goalie box where it bounced around before Senior Forward Billy Furlong one-touched a rocket into the back of the net. It was 1-0 Comets midway through the half.  

As we’ve seen so many times in the playoffs, the Comets goals come in bunches. Fittingly just three minutes after Furlong’s goal, Senior Midfielder Ethan Berkovitz intercepted a ball at the top of the Explorer’s penalty box and hit a low shot towards the goal. Berkovitz’s hard-hit ball was deflected by a Hudson player and flew into the lower left-hand corner of the goal. It was 2-0 Comets.

After halftime, both teams knew the next goal would either put the Explorers back in the game or give the Comets a commanding lead. A hard foul at the top of the penalty box, gave the Comets a free kick. Berkovitz who has hit several beautiful free kick goals this season faked the shot before Furlong (10 goals overall, 5 playoff goals) nailed it. The shot was a beauty to the side of the Explorers’ wall and into the left-hand corner of the goal. It was Furlong’s second goal of the match. The Comets were up 3-0 just minutes into the second half.

The Explorers made it interesting though. Hudson has scored from corner kicks all season. Early in the second half, the Explorers hit a rebound off of a corner kick to make it 3-1 Comets.

The Comets and Explorers traded attacks throughout the second half before Berkovitz intercepted a pass and saw the Explorers goalkeeper out of his box. Berkovitz (18 goals overall, 5 playoff goals) chipped the ball over the goalie to give the Comets a 4-1 lead with seven minutes left. It was Berkovitz’s second goal of the season.

The Explorers had another header goal off of a corner kick with two minutes remaining in the game. It was too little, too late for the Explorers. Comets win 4-2. Coach Ryan Greenhill's Men of the Match were Seniors Berkovitz and Furlong. 

The Comets are now 13-5-1 with the Regional Semi Final game next against Medina at 7pm on Wednesday at Nordonia High School. It will be a repeat of our regular season match, which was the second game of the season. The Bees won the first meeting 4-0 and are the 2018 OHSAA Division 1 State Champions.