by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- When Massillon Jackson moved to the Austintown district in 2011, it wouldn't have been the least bit surprising if a number of Lady Explorers' fans cheered.
After all, the Lady Polar Bears certainly made life miserable for the Hudson girls soccer team when the two squads duked it out in the Kent district.
From 2004 to 2009, the Lady Explorers saw each of their promising seasons come to an abrupt end to their pesky rivals from Stark County.
Their latest showdown had far less at stake than any of those memorable showdowns.
Nevertheless, a little revenge is always sweet.
Hudson improved to 4-0 on the season with a 2-0 victory over Jackson Aug. 31 at Hudson Memorial Stadium. With the loss, the Lady Polar Bears fell to 4-1.
Jackson, which shut out the Lady Explorers in five out of those six district contests during the 2000s, found itself in uncharted territory throughout the evening.
This time, the Lady Polar Bears could be found backpedaling as Hudson kept the ball at their feet for much of the game.
The Lady Explorers also demonstrated their exquisite passing with a bevy of give-and-go plays and through balls.
"We did a good job of not only possessing the ball, but we also put pressure on them," fifth-year head coach Costa Kalorides said.
Sophomore Alexandra Wright certainly made her opponents uncomfortable with two first-half goals.
She scored her first goal on a header off a corner kick by Kate Waters with 29 minutes, 57 seconds left.
Wright made it 2-0 at the 4:12 mark when she received a pass from Alyssa Pamer, beat a defender and then placed a low shot into the net with the outside of her right foot.
"Alex [Wright] did a fantastic job," Kalorides said.
Nevertheless, despite doing most of the chasing on this night, Jackson never allowed Hudson get too comfortable until the final whistle.
Elena Gutlove nearly got the Lady Polar Bears on the board when she broke free and unleashed a hard shot on goal with 10 seconds left in the first half.
Fortunately for the Lady Explorers, the ball went right in the hands of sophomore Sarah L'Hommedieu.
Jackson turned up the pressure a bit and actually kept the ball on the attack for the first 10 minutes of the second half.
But Hudson made the proper adjustments and regained control the rest of the way.
"When we got off to that good start, it would have been nice to put it away," Kalorides said. "Obviously, 1-0 is more uncomfortable. When we got that second goal, it allowed the girls to relax a bit more."
The Lady Explorers had a 6-2 advantage in shots on goal and an 8-3 advantage on corner kicks.
L'Hommedieu had two saves and Lady Polar Bears keeper Katie Kingsbury made two saves.
Hudson is scheduled to visit Northeast Ohio Conference rival Twinsburg Sept. 4 at 5 p.m.
The Lady Explorers are set to entertain Kent Roosevelt Sept. 7 at 7 p.m.