CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio – Three-hundred-and-forty-nine game minutes have passed since Rocky River last gave up a goal. That figure is inclusive of four matches and change. And those four complete matches include Monday’s contest at Chagrin Falls, an 80-minute, 1-0 affair that saw the Pirates extend their unscored-upon streak which began on Sept. 6.
Sophomore Samantha Miller scored in the third minute of Monday night’s Pirates-Tigers match. And the goal would hold. For the rest of the first half and the rest of the night.
A staunch Rocky River (9-2) defense held Chagrin Falls (4-5-2) to just nine shots on its Harris Stadium home turf. Six of those shots were on goal; five were saved by sophomore goalkeeper Gabrielle Avila. To be specific, those were the first five Pirate saves on the night — junior defender Alexandra Gluntz came up with a big save in the 75th minute, thwarting a Tiger opportunity on a corner kick.
Gluntz, senior defender Maddie Anderson, junior defender Chloe Reust, and freshman midfielder Keira Vesy logged standout performances on the defensive side of the ball for a Pirate soccer team that has now yielded just nine goals over 11 matches. And junior midfielder Allison Contenza quarterbacked a ball-control offense that kept much of the action 70 yards away from the Pirate net.
That River attack put 21-of-34 shots on goal. A big performance turned in by freshman Chagrin Falls ‘keeper Aerin Krebs kept the match from getting out of hand.
With the loss, the host Tigers have now dropped three of their last four.
Miller’s goal marked her third in as many matches and her team-leading ninth of the season. The Pirates are now 3-1 this season in games decided by one score.
Rocky River will get back to Great Lakes Conference play on Wednesday, when the Pirates host Holy Name (7 p.m. kickoff).
CANNON FIRE …
A RETURN TO PORT: With Monday’s east-side tilt in the books, Rocky River can now look forward to a stretch of five straight home games to close out the regular season. The Pirates are undefeated (4-0) at Rocky River Stadium this season. Dating back to last season, the Detroit Road Buccaneers have won six straight in their home environs.
RIVER-FALLS: Rocky River is now 5-3-1 against Chagrin Falls since 2007. Monday’s match spelled a measure of revenge for the members of the 2016 Pirate squad still on the team in 2017. The Tigers shut out the Pirates, 3-0, last season (Sept. 12).
SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREAK: Leading, 3-0, late in the first half of a Sept. 6 home match against Valley Forge, Rocky River yielded a goal at the 1:39-mark. Since then, the Pirates have outscored five foes (Valley Forge, McDowell-Pa., Normandy, Elyria Catholic, Chagrin Falls) by a combined margin of 21-0. The four-match streak is River’s longest since the 2013 state championship squad put together a late-season stretch of six straight clean sheets (Oct. 9-29).
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