Raudazzo, Marks shine during Brooke’s sectional semifinal win
WELLSBURG — The top-seeded Brooke boys soccer team nearly had to play from behind during Tuesday’s Class AAA Region 1 Section 1 seminal against No. 4 seed John Marshall.
Within the first three minutes of the match, the Monarchs nearly got a goal sneak past Andrew Coursin. The shot missed wide, however, and the Bruins took over from there in dominating fashion for a 13-0 victory.
“We started out a little slow, then we seemed to pick it up. They then played like they have all year long,” Brooke head coach Joe Pepe said. “When it got so far out of hand, we put our younger guys in to get tournament experience.
“I’m just hoping we can save some of that for Thursday. No matter what team comes in, it’s going to be a tough match.”
Telmo Raudazzo and Eddie Marks were untouchable in the first half, as each netted a hat trick within the first 10 minutes. Marks scored the first goal of the game at the 34:56 mark in the first half, then scored again three minutes later. Assists came from Raudazzo and Liam Cronin in that order.
After that, Brooke quickly went ahead, 5-0, after Raudazzo scored three times in less than three minutes (first came with 29:13 remaining and the third at the 26:21 mark). Assisting the goals were Blaise Buchmelter, Cronin and Marks.
“Brooke always is a good team ever since I’ve joined John Marshall,” Monarchs’ head coach Jesus Marin said. “They showed (Tuesday) why they are the No. 1 team in our section. We knew it would be a hard game. Every time we step on the field, we try to compete. By the end of the day, I want my boys to learn a little more about the game so they can be better for next year.”
Brooke (15-1-2) led, 10-0, at halftime. Marks’ third goal came at the 23:36 mark off of an assist from Hunter Adams and initiated a running clock. Raudazzo’s fourth goal was assisted by Nick Cekinovich. In between those goals, Ben Ferguson found the back of the net, with an assist from Buchmelter. Adams and Dylan Black scored the final first-half goals with assists by Buchmelter and Cronin.
The three second-half goals came from Ferguson, Tyler Mitchell and Christian Packer. Assists came from Nick Sagan, Dylan Black and Caden Langley.
Coursin, Brooke’s starting goalkeeper, only needed to make six saves after recording 18 during the Bruins’ 4-0 victory Saturday at Morgantown. They had to win that hard-fought game to grab the top seed.
“Andrew is a very, very good keeper. Andrew puts us in a stellar position all the time,” Pepe said. “He put in a stellar job for us on Saturday against a high-powered Morgantown team. He had about 18 saves that day, and they were peppering him. (Tuesday), it was a little bit of a relaxation for him. Andrew has come a long way for only playing goalie for two years.”
For John Marshall (2-15), Cameron McClure made 13 saves.
A MOMENT OF SILENCE
Before the match, a moment of silence was held for former baseball and golf coach Ron Ujcich, who died on Saturday. Members of the Bruins also wore special patches on their arms in memory.
“It was tough. A lot of my players play baseball, and it was tough on them,” Pepe said. “It’s a shock for the entire community and a shame. You just don’t know what’s going through (the players’) minds right now. They’re young adults.
“He was more than a teacher to these guys. He was a friend. He was an all-around person and will be really, really missed. Him and I used to talk all the time and became good friends.”
Brooke: Hosts second-seeded Morgantown, who bested Wheeling Park on Tuesday, for the sectional championship at 6 p.m. Thursday.