Aurora -- With about 15 minutes left in the Sept. 21 game, Solon's Drake Perry scored a goal off the far post to force a 1-1 tie against the Aurora boys soccer team.
Defense has been a huge key for the Greenmen's recent success and that's why AHS mentor Chris Gentille wasn't devastated after the hard-fought tie on the road to make the team's record 7-1-2 overall.
Both teama came into the match ranked in the top 15 in Ohio coaches polls -- Solon (5-4-1) was fifth and Aurora was sixth.
"Solon is in our district and we are both ranked teams, so this was an important game," pointed out Gentille. "It was a great game on the field and our defense has been strong."
Perry, just a freshman, scored and got the ball past senior goalkeeper Justin Pavlick, who was credited with nine saves. "Our defensive back three have been controlling the back for us and everyone has contributed," said Gentille.
Aurora, 4-0 in the Chagrin Valley Conference, was to host West Geauga on Sept. 24 in CVC action, but final results weren't available as of this writing. Orange (2-1-1) is the only other team in the CVC that doesn't have two losses.
Heading the back three on defense for have been seniors Ben Lazor and Conner Burns, along with junior Tyler Finkenthal. Burns had three steals and a shot on goal against Solon.
Senior Trever Wendel scored for Aurora early in the game on a header off of a corner kick by senior Prayag Jina. Wendel got it past Solon goal keeper Will Meyer.
Anthony Brockway, a junior, marked Comet all-Ohio standout Scotty Welker. "I thought Anthony did a phenomenal job of man marking Welker and taking him out of his game," said Gentille. "On offense, we are always looking toimprove."
Gentille liked what he saw in his team's 6-2 win over visiting Hawken on Sept. 17. "We possessed the ball extremely well," he said. "The guys really did a great job of maintaining possession about 80-percent of the time, which is very good against a quality team like that. Possession is the key to our [offensive] game.
"Hawken was ranked eighth in Ohio and we have now played five opponents that have been in the top10 in Division I and Division II,"added the coach. "We have one of the most difficult schedules in the area by design."