by Frank Aceto
Associate Sports Editor
Cuyahoga Falls -- The two teams haven't seen each other in quite awhile.
Fortunately for Cuyahoga Falls and Hudson boys soccer fans, that's about to change.
The Explorers earned a 4-0 victory over the host Black Tigers Aug. 27 at Laybourne Field.
The game turned out to be a two-day affair as the game started Aug. 26 and was stopped with 16 minutes, 21 seconds remaining in the first half due to inclement weather.
When 2003 Hudson graduate and Explorers head coach Kelsey Resnick and 2001 Falls' graduate and Black Tigers head coach Eric Ortopan played for their respective alma maters, the two teams met every year.
Hudson and Falls used to play in the now defunct Western Reserve Conference South Division.
Since the Northeast Ohio Conference came to life, the two teams don't see much of each other any more.
That's because the Explorers (2-0) play in the Valley Division and the Black Tigers compete in the Lake Division.
With the birth of the new Suburban League set to take place in the 2015-16 school year, the two teams can renew their rivalry in the National Division.
"I love the rivalry," Resnick said. "The two schools have players who play on the same club teams and Eric is a good friend of mine."
For now, Falls has some work to do if it wants to catch up with Hudson.
The Explorers kept possession of the ball most of the two days and had far more scoring chances.
"They [the Explorers] have some great players," Ortopan said. "Trevor [Colazzo] is a great player and Jack [Sullivan] is a great player. They've got some really good boys on that team."
For awhile, though, the Black Tigers' defense held its own despite Hudson's constant assault in Falls' territory.
Chris Ito finally got the Explorers on the board with 19 minutes, 19 seconds left in the first half. Ito got the ball in the middle of the field from teammate Matt Wallace. Ito promptly finished with a low shot into the right corner of the net.
It didn't take long for Hudson to find the net again.
A little more than a minute later, Drew Saxer blasted a shot into the net near the 18-yard line. Colazzo was credited with the assist.
Thunder stopped the game a little more than two minutes later and the two teams resumed play nearly 24 hours later.
Again, Falls (0-3) kept the Explorers out of the net for awhile until Hudson's talented offense found its stride.
Sullivan scored on a rebound after the Explorers had two previous shots from point-blank range deflected by Black Tigers' defenders with 11:22 remaining in the game. Colazzo was credited with his second assist.
Wallace put the finishing touches on the scoring when he converted a penalty kick with 24 seconds left.
Hudson had a 13-1 advantage in shots on goal and a 9-1 edge in corner kicks.
Although his team had control for the most part, Resnick said returning to the field a day later was a bit of an adjustment for his team.
"It was really tough to come out for the rest of the game," he said. "It usually takes you 10 to 15 minutes to get going. The guys responded in the second half. Scoring goals wins games. We want to score more goals and not just look pretty."
Falls wasn't completely overmatched.
The Black Tigers had some chances deep in the Explorers' territory and had one shot hit the crossbar.
"We did a lot better than we did [Aug. 26]," Ortopan said. "If that shot goes in instead of hitting the crossbar, who knows what happens. We're just trying to develop a style of play. We're a young team with a lot of kids adjusting to the varsity level."
Falls also got a stellar game from sophomore goalkeeper Tanner Treptow, who finished with nine saves, including a couple of nifty diving stops on a penalty kick by Colazzo and on a hard shot by Alex Vuksta.
"As usual, we got another amazing game from Tanner," Ortopan said.
Explorers' goalkeeper Brendon O'Neil needed to make just one save.
Hudson was scheduled to visit Akron Firestone Aug. 30. Results were not available at press time.
The Explorers are set to host NOC rival Stow-Munroe Falls Sept. 2 at 7 p.m.