AVON — Avon celebrated its home opener Monday night by giving Berea-Midpark a beating the likes of which it never experienced before.
Senior Will Sharer led the way with a pair of goals as the Eagles defeated the Titans 5-1 in a non-league match.
“It’s the first home game, so we were really pumped for tonight.” Sharer said. “We had great support from our student section. We’re playing really well. Hopefully it carries over to our next game, where we open conference play.”
Senior midfielder Daniel Minotti got Avon on the board in the 10th minute when he dribbled a ball around two defenders in the box and beat Titans goalkeeper Shane Bartek with a shot that went just inside the far post. Nine minutes later Minotti assisted on the first of Sharer’s two goals.
“Basically, we were just playing our game, moving the ball around and keeping possession on the ground,” Minotti said. “Our coach has done a good job of training us to play a possession game where the other team doesn’t have the ball most of the game and we can work on creating good chances.”
For most of the first half it looked as though Avon, which improved to 3-0 with the win, was getting its scoring chances the easy way – on 2-on-2 or 4-on-3 breakaways against the Titans overmatched defense. Avon outshot their opponents 15-8.
Freshman Dylan Morris was steady in goal for the Eagles, making seven saves.
Berea-Midpark, the defending Southwestern Conference champions, suffered their worst defeat in school history. Before Monday, the most goals Berea-Midpark had ever allowed in a match in its brief two year history was four — in its first-ever match in 2013. The largest margin of defeat was two, also in that opening match.
The Titans (2-2) trailed 5-0 before senior midfielder Tyler Palcisco finally found the back of the net in the 62nd minute.
Avon scored three goals in a matter of 13 minutes early in the second half, beginning with Michael Smigel’s penalty kick in the 46th minute.
Junior Nick Mazzola added an unassisted goal in the 53rd minute and Sharer’s second goal was assisted by Christian Giraldo in the 58th minute.
“We were combining well in the midfield and getting the ball on Danny’s (Minotti) feet and he was creating a lot of chances for us,” Sharer said “It’s important to have time on the ball so you can make decisions and find that space where you can be dangerous.”
Avon coach Chris Dore is happy with how his team in playing going into the West Shore Conference opener Wednesday against Lakewood.
“Our goal is always to move the ball to create opportunities,” Dore said. “We have too many talented players to let it be one person out there. We need to create opportunities for everybody.”
The Eagles, who have outscored their first three opponents by a margin of 10-3, just missed on numerous chances to score ever more goals. Smigel hit the post with a shot in the 13th minute. Sharer did the same in the 70th minute and Minotti missed a wide open goal midway through the second half after the Titans’ goalkeeper came to the edge of the box to play a ball and fell down.
Contact Todd Shapiro at 329-7135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Avon 5, Berea-Midpark 1
Goals: A — Sharer (19th minute, 58th minute), Minotti (10th minute), Smigel (46th minute, penalty kick), Mazzola (53rd minute) B — Palcisco (62nd minute)
Assists: A – Giraldo, Minotti
Goalkeepers: A — Morris, 7 saves; B — Bartek, 10 saves
Corner Kicks: A — 5; B — 3
Fouls: A – 7, B — 11
Offsides: A – 2, B — 1
Halftime Avon 2-0