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by Michael Leonard | Sports Editor
Hudson -- It has been a tale of two early seasons for the Hudson and Stow-Munroe Falls girls soccer teams.
The Lady Explorers have roared out of the gate.
The Lady Bulldogs, on the other hand, are still trying to get their footing.
Stow put up a solid effort, but Hudson had too much speed -- and too much Erin Torrence -- for the Lady Bulldogs to hold off for 80 minutes.
The Lady Explorers scored a 2-0 win over Stow in a Northeast Ohio Conference showdown Aug. 27 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
As of press time, Hudson's record stood at 4-0, while Stow stood at 0-3-1.
The Lady Explorers finished with a 13-1 edge in shots on goal and a 9-1 edge in corner kicks, but Hudson's offense didn't really click until later in the second half.
"It's always a good rivalry for us with Stow," Lady Explorers head coach Costa Kalorides said. "I think Stow came out defensive in the contest. They did what they needed to stay in the game."
Lady Bulldogs head coach Chris Tipton said, despite the score, his team's effort may have been the best of the young season.
"I'm satisfied with a 2-0 score against a team like that," he said. "It shows what we can do. Our team defense has been pretty solid. We just have to figure out how to score now. If we get one goal, it's a completely different game."
While Hudson had the better run of play in the first half, the game was basically a wash.
Both teams were able to gain possession in the midfield, but neither created many chances as only two of the Lady Explorers' shots on goal came in the first half.
Stow goalkeeper Aly Green finished with 11 saves on the night, including some excellent diving stops in one-on-one situations.
Hudson goalie Sarah L'Hommedieu made one save.
However, Torrence nearly opened the scoring in the first minute of the second half. Breaking behind the Lady Bulldogs' defense, Torrence banged a shot off the post.
"They worked her a lot better in the second half," Tipton said. "When Erin gets behind the defense against anyone, she's going to score."
"We're not complaining; she's dangerous," Kalorides said, noting Torrence has taken a big role in the Lady Explorers' offense. "She hit the post a couple times. Usually, she puts those away."
It proved to be a warning shot for Stow.
As the game went on, Hudson switched from a possession game to a more direct attack when in Stow's half of the field.
As a result, Torrence, Kim Ito, Sara Kossler and Victoria Breeden all made dangerous runs behind the Lady Bulldogs' defense.
After several near misses and saves by Green, the Lady Explorers broke through in the 59th minute.
Breeden sent a high ball over the Lady Bulldogs' defense and Torrence was able to sprint behind. Keeping her shot low, Torrence slid the ball into the net.
In the 68th minute, Torrence scored in nearly identical fashion.
This time, defender Allie Dunne sent the long ball forward and Torrence sprinted away before putting a low shot home.
Hudson's attack became more relentless in the game's final 10 minutes, but the Lady Explorers could not find a third goal.
"Fortunately for us, we were able to find the net," Kalorides said. "With the teams we play, it's vital that we finish out chances."
The Lady Explorers earned a 3-0 win over Northeast Ohio Conference rival Parma Normandy Aug. 25 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
Torrence scored all three goals for the Lady Explorers (3-0).
Breeden added two assists and Claire McIsaac had one assist.
Hudson, which led 1-0 at halftime, had a 10-1 advantage in shots on goal and a 7-0 edge in corner kicks.
The Lady Explorers were set to travel to Massillon Jackson Aug. 30, but results were not available at press time.
They are scheduled to host NOC Valley Division rival Twinsburg Sept. 3 at 7 p.m.
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