by Michael Leonard
Twinsburg -- The 2013 season will go down as the greatest regular season in the history of Twinsburg girls soccer.
The Lady Tigers came into the playoffs undefeated, ranked No. 1 in the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association poll and seeded tops in the Division I Kent district. Twinsburg got past Aurora Oct. 19 3-0 in its playoff opener.
However, as Twinsburg head coach Chris Gentille noted, you throw the records out come playoff time and can't afford to have an off night.
The Lady Tigers may have had their first off-night of the season Oct. 22 and Hudson took full advantage.
The Lady Explorers dominated the Division I district semifinal game Oct. 22 at Twinsburg Tiger Stadium, defeating the Lady Tigers 4-0.
Hudson improved to 14-2-2 on the season and advanced to host the district final Oct. 26 at 3 p.m. against Walsh Jesuit, which beat Warren Howland 4-0. Results were not available at press time. Twinsburg finished 16-1-1.
The victory for the Lady Explorers avenged a 2-1 loss to Twinsburg Sept. 4.
Hudson head coach Costa Kalorides was very happy with the way his team played.
"I think we played very well in the first half," Kalorides said. "It could have easily been 4-0 or 5-0 at the half.
"Their goalkeeper did some good things and we didn't take all of our chances. In the second half, we talked about how important it was to get that third goal. Fortunately, we were able to find it early. That fourth goal was just icing on the cake."
Gentille said there were no excuses for his team.
"We just didn't play well," Gentille said. "They didn't do anything different than what we they did in the first game against us. We just didn't do what we wanted to do. They took advantage of our mistakes."
The Lady Explorers were on the attack from virtually the opening whistle and found the goal in the ninth minute.
Senior midfielder Kate Waters hit one of her trademark diagonal balls over the top of the Lady Tigers' defense.
That allowed sophomore forward Erin Torrence to run onto the ball, sprint behind the defense and slot the ball home past Twinsburg keeper Lexi Cooke.
The Lady Tigers attempted to respond, but Twinsburg's offense found itself stymied most of the night. Hudson finished with a 14-2 edge in shots on goal and a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.
Cooke made some excellent saves early to keep the Lady Tigers in it.
She was credited with six saves on the night, while Twinsburg backup keeper Nicole McGlinchy had four saves after coming on in the 64th minute.
Lady Explorers' sophomore goalie Sarah L'Hommedieu had two saves to get the shutout.
Hudson's second goal came in the 23rd minute on a brilliant effort from sophomore forward Alexandra Wright, a forward.
Wright was able to corral a clearing ball from the Lady Tigers' defense and smash a shot high into the net, giving Cooke no chance.
"When you get down 2-0, you start trying to do too much," Gentille said. "I told the girls, 'You're playing well, but you're trying to do everything.'"
Up 2-0 at halftime, Hudson found the third goal in the 43rd minute from its captain. Taking a ball from sophomore defender Victoria Breeden, Waters ran through the Twinsburg defense and smashed a low shot home to make it 3-0.
Lady Explorers' sophomore forward Sara Kossler completed the scoring in the 69th minute when she crashed the net after McGlinchy made a save.
Kossler pounced on the rebound and hit it high into the net to make it 4-0.
"This is probably the toughest district in the state with Twinsburg being No. 1, Walsh being No. 2 and us being No. 7," Kalorides said. "That's just a credit to soccer in this area."