Aurora -- Recent play -- such as a 1-1 tie against state powerhouse Bay Village -- enabled the Aurora boys soccer team to earn the No. 1 seed for the Kent Roosevelt Division I sectional-district tournament.
But the league champion? The Aurora Greenmen.
Head coach Chris Gentille knows how deep and strong the Kent district can be and was thrilled to possibly secure a couple of home matches with an 8-2-3 record. AHS earned a first round bye and will play Oct. 19 at home in a sectional championship game against the first round winner of Warren Harding (4-7-1) and Bedford (0-13-1).
"We're excited about the tournament and we had a decent week," said Gentille, as the Greenmen secured the Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division championship at 5-0-1.
AHS did that by virtue of a 3-0 win on Oct. 1 at Lake Perry (8-4 overall, 3-3 in the CVC). Aurora was to host Kenston (3-3) in the final CVC game on Oct. 8, but final results weren't available as of this writing.
On Oct. 5, Aurora played to a 1-1 tie against visiting Bay (9-0-5), Ohio's second-ranked team in Division II. Two days earlier, Aurora lost 4-2 against Ohio's fourth-ranked Division II squad --University School. The locals close out the regular season on Oct. 10 at Mayfield (7-4-1).
A tie against Bay was impressive because of how Aurora played -- to their strength by controlling the possession and midfield against a premiere soccer team. Of course, Aurora knows success too as the locals reached Ohio's Final Four in Division I a year ago.
"THE GUYS played extremely well against Bay," said Gentille, who lost eight starters and 12 seniors to graduation from the 2012 unit. "I thought we did a great job of controlling most of the possession against Bay. We controlled about 65-percent of the possession, and we had a lot of good chances to score."
Dan Linhart scored for Bay, while junior Tyler Finkenthal scored for Aurora on a header ball off of a corner kick. Finkenthal got the ball past Bay keeper Colin Southerington. Aurora's defense was led by senior goalkeeper Justin Pavlick, junior Anthony Brockway, senior Conner Burns and Finkenthal.
"Brockway, Burns and Finkenthal were outstanding in the back," said Gentille. "Offensively, we're still struggling at finishing, but we are creating well."
A rough first half hurt Aurora at University School, which had a 2-0 lead. Senior Prayag Jina scored for the Greenmen, as did junior Nick Perez. "University School is another strong team and we scouted them well, but our kids didn't listen in the first half," said Gentille. "We played better in the second half."
Perez continues to be dangerous as he had a pair of goals in the 3-0 win at Perry secure the league crown. enior Trever Wendel also scored, while Pavlick got the shutout with only one save.
"Our kids dominated against Perry, who has some real nice players," said Gentille. "Our defense played very well and we had some offense as well."
Aurora got the top seed at the Kent tourney over a strong field of teams -- Solon (7-2-5), Hudson (8-4-2) and Warren Howland (10-1-4). If the Greenmen win the sectional final, they will host a district semifinal on Oct. 23.
Gentille is banking on a third postseason match at home.