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Crusaders get wake-up call in win

STEUBENVILLE — The Catholic Central boys soccer team got off to a lackadaisical start against Edison on Tuesday, and the Wildcats delivered a wake-up call to the Crusaders.

Edison struck first about 10 minutes into the match, but Catholic Central rallied and tallied five unanswered goals, en route to a 5-1 victory on an overcast and rainy evening on the Tony Recinella Soccer Field at the Michael Carapellotti Crusader Sports Complex.

“They delivered a wake-up call,” Catholic Central (6-3-2) head coach Steve Kopcha said. “I knew it was going to be a good game. I knew it was going to be well played. Edison is getting better, and it showed.”

The Wildcats did not back down from the opening whistle to the final whistle.

“If you look at this team compared to teams in years past, the difference is the competition level,” Edison head coach Andy Lesnansky said. “These guys are competing. The competition level is there. They are working hard. We just need more something. I’m not sure what it is.

“It is the same thing. We have guys learning the game of soccer as they go. We have four seniors, and we have a huge junior class. We are getting better every year. I know every coach says next year is the year, but I really think it is.”

Michael Lee tallied a hat trick for the Crusaders, Giuseppe Lancia Produced a goal and an assist and Anthony Venditti collected a goal. Also, Joe Rhode recorded an assist.

Catholic Central used two goalies. Leon Zaleski started in the net and was replaced by Jacob Kissinger in the second half. Neither goalie made a save.

Eli Wilson netted the lone goal for Edison off of an assist by Jaycee Blake. Andrew Lamp made 11 saves.

“I think the big thing is for years we were starting games with eight people,” Lesnansky said. “We have come a long way. We are competing against teams that used to blow us out. I’m not excited about the loss. I don’t want to lose, but for it to be 2-1 at halftime against a team like this — you have to be happy with the improvement.

The Crusaders scored two goals in the first half and three in the second.

“I knew this was going to be a tough game,” Kopcha said. “They came out and played hard. They played strong. They played extremely well the whole game. They scored first, and that was a wake-up call. After that, we started playing a little better.

“We started playing the way we are capable of playing. These are the kind of games we need. We play some quality opponents the rest of the season, and it started with this game.”

Lee tallied both Catholic Central goals in the first half. The first came a few minutes after Wilson’s goal, and the second came about 10 minutes before halftime.

Venditti scored around 13 minutes into the second half to make the score 3-1, and his goal was followed by goals from Lee and Lancia.

UP NEXT

Edison: Hosts Jefferson Country Christian at 7 p.m. Thursday.

CCHS: Travels to Steubenville to face Big Red at 2 p.m. Saturday as part of the Together We Care soccer tournament.

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