AVON LAKE — The Elyria Catholic coaching staff said all season that Ryan Medves could be one of the best center midfielders in the area if the Panthers didn’t need him to anchor their defense.
Given the chance Saturday, Medves showed he could score against the best of the best, nailing three goals to lead the White team to a 4-3 win over the Purple team in the annual Lorain County Soccer Coaches Association’s boys all-star game at Avon Lake Memorial Stadium.
Medves put the White on top 1-0 in the 24th minute when he broke free between two defenders and Silvester Messiah played him a perfect through ball, allowing him to beat goalkeeper Ian Long one-on-one.
Medves’ second goal came in the 70th minute and broke a 2-2 tie.
“It was fun to actually look at the goal and go towards it instead of just worrying about defending mine,” Medves said. “I just wanted to get my chance up front. It’s also a lot of fun to get out and play with the guys you’ve played against all season.”
With two goals already on the board and 10 minutes left in the match there was only one thing left for Medves to accomplish — complete the hat trick. Less than a minute later he scored goal No. 3, an unassisted score to put White up 4-2.
“Everybody on the team was thinking hat trick, they were all yelling it to me,” Medves said. “I was just trying to keep doing what was working for me. It’s interesting playing in a game with so much talent. Everybody has a good touch and plays a clean ball but you’re also facing the best defenders so you have to play your best.”
All of the White’s goal were scored by Elyria Catholic players as Michael Saddler scored in the 29th minute to give his team a 2-0 lead. Messiah also assisted on Saddler’s goal.
“Sometime you’ve got to have the other side of it and pass the ball and give other players a chance to score,” said Messiah, who set the single-season scoring record at Midview this season. “I liked the chance to play with different guys today. It was a tough season but it’s always good to come out and play soccer and it really does feel good to get a win today.”
White goalkeeper and Panthers senior Marty Conroy made three saves in the first half before turning over the job to Keystone’s Collin Fitzgerald in the second half. Conroy took the field late in the second half as a forward, trying without success to repeat his goal-scoring heroics from an early season Elyria Catholic win at Fairvew.
“The first couple of shots you face are tough because you haven’t been on the field for a while, but once you get going this is a really fun game to be a part of,” Conroy said.
“You have to get used of playing with new defenders and knowing where they are going to be, but I’ve played club with probably half of the guys on this roster and, of course, with Ryan and Michael for four years.”
The winning side was comprised of players from Amherst, Avon Lake, Elyria Catholic, First Baptist, Midview, Open Door and Vermilion.
North Ridgeville’s Chad Kisel scored the first Purple goal in the 32nd minute, his Rangers teammate Matt Clark closed out the Purple scored just before the final whistle sounded. Wellington’s Russ Gifford scored the other Purple goal in the 53th minute.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
White 4, Purple 3
Goals: (W) Medves 24th minute, 70th minute (2), Saddler 29th minute; (P) Kissel 32nd minute, Gifford 53rd minute, Clark 80th minute.
Assists: (W) Messiah 2, Mills; (P) Spieth2, McClintock
Saves: (W) Conroy 3, Fitzgerald 5; (P) Long 9
Shots on goal: White 13, Purple 11
Corner kicks: White 4, Purple 2
Offsides: White 1, Purple 2
Fouls: White 8, Purple 4
Halftime: White, 2-1