by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor
Hudson girls soccer has experienced much success in the Costa Kalorides era -- except when playing the Northeast Ohio Conference Valley Division.
Given the strength of the Valley Division, that's no knock on the Lady Explorers, but certainly something Hudson wished to change.
"Division games in our league are always going to be tough," Kalorides said.
"North Royalton always has a good team and is competitive."
However, when North Royalton visited Hudson Sept. 7, it ran into a swarming Lady Explorers' squad.
Hudson finished with a 2-0 win, but was in control throughout the contest.
The Lady Explorers improved to 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the Valley Division.
North Royalton dropped to 4-4 overall and 0-1 in the Valley Division.
"We had a lot of opportunities and overall, I think we played very well," Kalorides said. "We limited their opportunities to just taking a few shot from distance.
"It would have been great to get that second goal a bit earlier. It would have taken some stress away, but North Royalton always plays well."
Hudson came out of the gate firing and took the lead in the eighth minute.
Senior captain Kate Waters hit a nice through ball, allowing sophomore Erin Torrence to break past the defense. Torrence cut inside and hit a beautiful high shot over Bears goalkeeper Maria Humayan into the corner.
The Lady Explorers were in attack mode for the entire first quarter, but some poor shots and great goalkeeping by Humayan kept it at 1-0 after the first half.
Humayan finished with 12 saves as Hudson finished with a 10-1 edge in shots on goal and a 10-0 edge in corner kicks.
Lady Explorers' keeper Sarah L'Hommedieu had one save to get the shutout.
North Royalton came out pressing in the second half, but the Bears didn't manage a shot on goal until the 65th minute.
Meanwhile, Hudson kept trying for the second goal to put the game out of reach.
After spurning several chances, the Lady Explorers finally got the second goal in the 79th minute.
Waters made an excellent run down the near side and got to the end line behind the Bears defense.
Waters slid a ball to the top of the six-yard box where Alexandra Wright smashed it home. Wright put home her 11th goal of the season to clinch the win.
"We weren't as composed as we should have been in front of the goal at times, but we did what we needed to," Kalorides said.
Hudson was set to host Copley Sept. 14, but results were not available at press time.
Up next for Hudson is a rematch of last year's district final at Solon Sept. 18. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.