Aurora -- Even in a tie, a hard fought defensive battle can prove to be worthwhile in high school boys soccer.
That was the case when Aurora hosted powerful Division I counterpart Mentor on Sept. 14. The game ended in a 0-0 stalemate, but the Greenmen had an outstanding defensive showing in the physical non-league affair.
Aurora, 5-1-1 overall, are approaching more league play as the Greenmen were 3-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference prior to the road trip to Hawken on Sept. 17. Final results weren't available as of this writing.
Defensive continuity was strong as Aurora shut down Mentor (6-0-2).
The Greenmen defensed Mentor scoring leader Jake Lombardo well and battled in the midfield against a Mentor unit that recently had a 0-0 tie against state-ranked Medina.
Senior goalkeeper Justin Pavlick had five saves and got the shutout, while the Greenmen had three opportunities against standout Mentor keeper Matt Markiewicz.
Nick Perez had two shots on goal for Aurora, while Trever Wendel had a header that Markiewicz turned away. Justin Kowalski had a second half shot attempt that was just wide.
Solid defensive play was turned in by Ben Lazor, Conner Burns, Tyler Finkenthal and Ryan Studer.
On Sept. 10, host Aurora won 3-1 over Chagrin Falls (2-3-2) with two first half tallies. Perez had a goal and two assists, while Dalton Browsky and Wendel each had a goal. Pavlick had four saves.
Aurora has a non-league road trip at Solon on Sept. 21 (2 p.m.) and hosts West Geauga on Sept. 24 (7 p.m.) in CVC action.