ELYRIA — It was an opener to remember for a pair of Midview soccer newcomers Saturday morning.
Maddie Blaine, a freshman forward, scored two goals — one in each half — as the Middies came from behind twice to defeat Elyria, 3-2. It renewed an old and feisty non-conference rivalry before a nice crowd at Pioneer Field.
“This felt good, you know, to come to Midview and kind of set the tone,” said Blaine, who a year ago was playing with a club team in Medina.
And Abbey Golden, most recently a Wellington assistant, notched her first victory as a head coach decked out in Midview blue.
“This is great, but they’re almost giving me a heart attack, first game of the season,” Golden said of the thriller. “I’m gonna have gray hairs. You know, I scouted Elyria, because I want our girls to be prepared for each game. This was a team I was pretty excited to play.
“I knew they have some good players and ‘V’ (Pioneers coach Venera Ilievski) is a strong coach. They’re athletic and quick, and I was excited to start off with a nice rivalry. It was a good physical, fast-paced game.”
It was also a memorable day for two senior players, one on each side.
With time running out and the score tied at 2, Middies forward and co-captain Andrea Webb nailed the game-winner in the 78th minute. Sophomore forward Sidney Riemer assisted with a crossing pass.
“I saw the cross coming in and I just hit it into the corner where I wanted it to go,” Webb said. “This was our first game. We wanted to come out strong and I think we did.”
Elyria never trailed until the clock showed less than three minutes to play. This was largely because of a pair of goals by the Pioneers’ Abbey Ramirez, a senior forward and tri-captain. Each goal gave the Pioneers a lead.
“I wanted to start out good and do good for my team,” Ramirez said. “It was a good way to start my senior year. You know, we lost a couple seniors last year, but we have some freshmen coming in and I think it’s going to be a good season for us. I think we can go far this year.”
The Pioneers led 1-0 after Ramirez got control near midfield, worked herself loose and dribbled in to score unassisted in the 19th minute. The Middies’ Blaine created a tie with an unassisted goal of her own in the 35th minute.
Elyria took a 2-1 lead on Ramirez’s second goal, in the 47th minute. The score followed a corner kick by the Pioneers’ Erin Mariner, a junior midfielder, who sent the ball into the crowd in front of the Midview goal. Ramirez took control and found the corner of the net.
Elyria held the lead for 15 minutes, until Blaine tied it again. This happened in the 62nd minute after Mallory Hamoki, a Middies freshman defender, bounced a shot off the crossbar on the restart following an Elyria foul. Like Ramirez, Blaine got control and kicked it in. It set the stage for Webb’s heroics 16 minutes later.
Despite the tough loss, Ilievsky was generally pleased with her young team, which includes four freshmen and six sophomores.
“I’m proud of them, because they played well,” the Pioneers coach said. “We have to tighten up some areas, especially where we have some girls playing new positions. But overall we played well against a very competitive team.”
Notable among the four freshmen is Ja’maya Ward, who is listed as a forward but is more versatile than that.
“You’re going to see a lot of her, because she will make her imprint,” Ilievski said. “We have to shuffle her around a little bit because of her strengths. She can do just about anything we ask her to do anywhere we ask her to play.”
Contact Bob Daniels at 329-7135 or email@example.com.
Midview 3, Elyria 2
GOALS: (M) Maddie Blaine 2 (35th, 62nd minutes), Andrea Webb (78th). (E) Abbey Ramirez 2 (19th, 47th).
ASSIST: (M) Mallory Hamoki, Sidney Riemer.
SAVES: (M) Alyssa Adkins 3; (E) Sabrina Johnson 7.
SHOTS: Midview 17, Elyria 8.
SHOTS ON GOAL: Midview 9, Elyria 4.
CORNER KICKS: Midview 9, Elyria 2.
GOAL KICKS: Midview 2, Elyria 10.
OFFSIDE: Midview 2.
DROP-BALLS WON: Midview.
FOULS: Midview 2, Elyria 6.