PARMA, Ohio – Rocky River defeated Parma, 10-0, as the Pirates clinched their first Great Lakes Conference championship on Monday night.
The Redmen were the last domino to fall in a six-match circuit season that began on Aug. 30 with the game that meant the most. On that date six weeks ago, the Pirates utterly dominated the two-time-defending-GLC-champion Bay Rockets, 5-0. Five conference games later, and River still hasn’t been bested by a league foe.
Rocky River (13-2, 6-0) got multiple goals from three different players in earning the third conference title in program history. River won the West Shore Conference crown in 2005 and 2013. But the Pirates’ vaulting to the top of the GLC came with some relative growing pains – Rocky River went 6-5-1 over 12 GLC contests in 2015-2016.
Owen Jaite, Bryan Kern and Michael Konrad each scored a pair of goals in what marked the Pirates’ third 10-goal match of the season. Sonny Fricano, Dan Hornig and Connor O’Toole also fund the back of the net in the shutout win, River’s sixth of the year. Rocky River was also the beneficiary of a Parma own goal in the contest.
One regular-season match (vs. Lakewood, Saturday) remains in what has been a record-setting offensive year for the Pirates.
With their 10 goals on Monday night, Rocky River has now scored 81 on the season. They are within sight of the program’s most-goals-in-a-single-season mark, which is 84 (1986). The 1986 squad hit that in 22 matches, averaging 3.82 goals per contest. These 2017 Pirates have now averaged 5.4 goals per game.
Over their 6-0 conference slate, the Pirates outscored their GLC foes, 44-3.
CANNON FIRE …
CONFERENCE CALL: Rocky River’s 2017 GLC title represents the program’s third true conference title in its history. The Pirates were champions of the West Shore Conference in 2005 and 2013 (RRHS was a WSC member from 2005-14). River did not lay claim to any South West Conference titles when the Pirates were in that circuit, from 1981-2004. However, prior to its days in the SWC and then again concurrent in some WSC years, Rocky River did compete in the Northeast Ohio Scholastic Soccer League (1968-86) and North Central Conference (1991-98); both were soccer-only leagues, but several Pirate teams did earn first-place finishes.
BRACKET BUCS: River is the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Elyria District bracket of the Ohio Division II Tournament. The Pirates have a bye in the district tournament and will host a 3 p.m. match on Oct. 21. The seeding marks the sixth time in program history (and the first time since 2006) the Pirates enter the district brackets with the top seed.
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