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by Frank Aceto | Associate Sports Editor
Hudson °-- Two years ago, the Hudson boys soccer team had its best team in morethan a decade.
The Explorers reached a Division I regional title game for the first time since they advanced to the state semifinals in 2003.
But there was one blemish during that glorious 2014 season.
Hudson lost to Division II perennial powerhouse and next-door neighbor Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy 3-1.
The Explorers haven't lost to the Royals since.
Hudson improved to 4-1 on the season after posting a 2-1 victory over CVCA Sept. 1 at Hudson Memorial Stadium.
The Explorers, who also lost to the Royals 1-0 last year, controlled possession for much of the first half and constantly put pressure on CVCA's defense.
Things got a bit chippy late in the game as the Royals lost their composure. As a result, two CVCA players were issued red cards.
Hudson, on the other hand, had everything working.
"This was a big win," Explorers' second-year head coach Steve Knapp said. "CVCA is always a quality team."
Hudson built a 2-0 halftime lead, thanks to goals by senior defender Ryan Jackson and junior midfielder Wilson Sattele.
Jackson got the Explorers on the board less than six minutes into the game.
After a corner kick, the ball bounced around not far from the goal in the Royals' penalty box. Jackson was there to retrieve the loose ball near the 6-yard line and he poked it into the net past Royals' senior goalkeeper Brooks Montgomery.
Senior defender Jack Sarkisian was credited with the assist.
Hudson had plenty of chances to add to its lead and it finally got its second goal with 55 seconds left in the first half.
Sattele got the ball on the right side of the field not far from the 18-yard line. Using his left foot, Sattele hit a line-drive, one-touch volley shot that found the strings.
The Royals' best chance to score in the first half took place on a set piece.
On a free kick from the right side, Hudson resident Braden Petno blasted a shot over Hudson's wall and at Explorer goalkeeper Connor Gynn.
The junior goalie showed cat-like reflexes to deflect the ball away with his right foot.
Nonetheless, the halftime break seemed to rejuvenate CVCA.
On a long set piece by senior Brady Bissonette, Petno, a senior, headed the free kick into the goal less than two minutes into the second half.
But the Explorers regained control by keeping possession of the ball for the majority of the second half. Gynn finished with three saves.
Hudson had a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal and an 8-1 edge in corner kicks.
"We have such great senior leadership.," Knapp saod
On Aug. 30, Hudson earned a 3-0 victory over Nordonia in its Suburban League National Conference debut Aug. 30 at Boliantz Stadium in Macedonia.
Senior midfielders Alex Vuksta and Sam Durkin and senior forward Larry Meehan had one goal apiece for the Explorers, who led 1-0 at halftime.
Durkin also had an assist and Sattele added an assist.
Gynn made one save and Knights' keeper Conner Kaminicki stopped seven shots.
Hudson had a 10-1 advantage in shots on goal and an 8-1 edge in corner kicks.
The Explorers are scheduled to entertain National Conference foe North Royalton Sept. 6 at 7 p.m. Hudson set to visit Worthington Kilbourne Sept. 10 at 4 p.m.