by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Hudson -- On Sept. 4, the Twinsburg girls soccer team earned its first-ever win against Hudson.
Twinsburg happens to be the same team that Kent Roosevelt has owned in recent years.
So when the Rough Riders and Explorers took the field, it would be safe to say Kent had a legitimate chance to hand Hudson its second straight loss, right?
The Lady Explorers rebounded from their first defeat of the season with a convincing 5-0 victory over the Rough Riders Sept. 7 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
With the win, Hudson, which was ranked No. 12 in a recent Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Division I state poll, improved to 5-1. Roosevelt fell to 1-4.
"I thought [Sept. 7] was pretty good," Lady Explorers head coach Costa Kalorides said. "They came in more focused than they did [Sept. 4].
"We shuffled our lineup, so some of our starters were out of position. It would have been nice to convert a few more chances in the first half, but to the kids' credit, they stayed positive."
In recent years, the Rough Riders have been a major migraine for Twinsburg, which was ranked seventh in Division I. Kent has beaten the Tigers in tournament play the last two years.
Unfortunately for the Rough Riders, they were no match for the Explorers.
Hudson kept the ball near Kent's goal for much of the evening and had a 12-1 edge in shots on goal and a 10-0 advantage in corner kicks.
"I thought we could have competed with them [the Lady Explorers] a little bit better," Rough Riders' first-year head coach Curtis Ahrens said. "We were right in it at halftime."
It took Hudson nearly 27 minutes to score its first goal, thanks to Kent's relentless defense.
The Lady Explorers finally got on the board with 13:02 left in the half when Alex Wright scored the first of her two goals. Wright got a pass from Kate Waters and won a one-on-one battle with Rough Riders' goalkeeper Audra Grimm.
Hudson struck again less than five minutes later.
Erin Torrence found the net off an assist from Chelsea Reis. Torrence got the ball near the penalty box, took a few dribbles before easily beating Grimm with a shot from point-blank range.
The Lady Explorers scored the last three goals in a 16-minute span after halftime.
Wright made it 3-0 when she finished after getting a well-placed pass from Alyssa Pamer at the 24:26 mark. Less than three minutes later, Kim Ito drilled a left-footed shot into the upper corner of the net. Brooke Royster had the assist for Hudson.
Rayna McLean put the finishing touches on the Lady Explorers' win when she found the net at the 8:32 mark. Katie Maggio had the assist.
"We had a good week of practice," Kalorides said. "It's hard to keep your focus for every game. They did a good job of staying the course."
Grimm finished with seven saves, including a few spectacular stops in the first half. Hudson goalkeeper Sarah L'Hommedieu needed to make just one save.
These two teams may meet again down the road.
Kent, Hudson and Twinsburg are in the Kent sectional-district tournament.
"Hopefully, we'll see Hudson again," Ahrens said. "We play in one of the toughest districts around. We play teams like this so we won't be surprised if we see them again."
The Lady Explorers are scheduled to begin Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division play Sept. 11. They are set to host North Royalton at 7 p.m. Hudson is scheduled to entertain Copley Sept. 14 at 1 p.m.