Genoa, Lake soccer vying for league championship

J. Patrick Eaken

Thursday night, Genoa and Lake boys soccer were playing for the Northern Buckeye Conference championship.

A Genoa win would mean that the Comets claim the outright title, but a Lake win would mean it will take another week to play for a champion, either Lake or Genoa, to be determined. 

The problem for Genoa is, the Flyers defeated the Comets in their first match-up, 5-4, as Kaiden Reed, Jayden Berlin, Aidan Wamer (penalty kick), Nolan Nowicki and Jack Gladieux scored for the Flyers.

Lake assists were by Jayden Berlin, Aiden Wamer and Jack Gladieux. Luke Heebsh had 10 saves for Lake.

It is Genoa’s only league loss, and the Comets were 10-3 overall heading into Thursday’s match-up, Lake is 7-5-1, but the Comets were 7-1 in the league, the Flyers 6-1-1. In the latest Northwest Ohio coaches’ poll, Genoa is the only NBC team ranked, at eighth, but both Lake and Eastwood (5-5-1, 3-4) were ranked earlier in the season. 

“Anytime you are playing league games, it’s always a great win for us,” Genoa coach Tim Memmer said. “Any of those are great wins for us, and the two games with Eastwood, we have scored half their goals that they have given up this year in those two games. They are solid defensively, and they’ve given up 20 goals, and we’ve scored 10 of them (5-3, 5-1 Genoa wins). 

“We were ranked eighth and they were 10th (NW Ohio) when we played them the second time. We were fortunate enough to have to play Rossford when they were full strength both times. They are a little short on numbers this year, but they are one of the more dangerous teams scoring-wise and as much as we talk about how we attack, we defended very well and shut them out both times (3-0, 4-0),” Memmer continued.

“Two of the teams we’ve played have not lost since they played us — Oak Harbor (7-1 Genoa Galaxy Cup win) has not lost a game and we are one of their two losses and Edison (4-0 Genoa) only has one loss on the season and that was to us.


‘A perfect storm’

The Comets’ three front line players have combined for 145 points. Junior forward Aiden Hemmert has 18 goals and 19 assists, junior forward Ethan Wilson has 17 goals and 11 assists and sophomore forward Griffin Meyer has 16 goals and 13 assists. 

In the first meeting against Lake, Wilson scored twice. Hemmert and junior midfielder Evan Hoeft (eight goals, six assists) each added one goal. 

“Our attack has been pretty strong all year. We’ve been pretty solid on that aspect of it,” Memmert said. “Our three leading scorers, in talking with one coach, they are almost like a perfect storm that complement each other really well. 

“Part of what works for them, they all have quite a few assists. There is not a selfish bone in any of them. In fact, sometimes they are a little too unselfish and we wish they could do a little bit more on their own now and then. But they are really in the mentality it doesn’t matter who is getting the goal,” Memert continued.

“The fortunate thing is we score a lot of different ways, either on set plays or we run a play, from in the air or on the ground, flat outrunning people, so we’re not very one dimensional. We have multiple ways that we can adjust tactics to go on teams depending on what they try to do to stop us.”

Also contributing to scoring is sophomore midfielder Mike Lickert (two goals, three assists), sophomore forward Marcus Gladden (two goals) and senior forward Grant Loomis. 

In goal, senior Tyler Welsh rules, garnering 58 saves and a 1.65 goals against average. 

“Since I’ve been there that is the best goals-against average that we’ve had for a keeper. He’s way up there on save percentage,” Memmer said.

Welsh has also come out on the field and has two assists, plus he and freshman goalkeeper Tyler Harper (19 saves) have combined with the Genoa defense to produce five shutouts. The Comets have outscored their 13 opponents 71-30. 

The midfielders are young and also include sophomores Hunter Streight, and Marcus Gladden and freshmen Nate Tipton, Matt Lickert, and Wyatt Steinmiller. 

“The main three on our midfield are busy guys. They cover a lot of ground. We’ve got two who are very intelligent on what they are doing, we have a freshman who is figuring it out, but he’s persistent,” Memmer said.

Defenders include seniors Connor Brazelton and Drake Hamilton, junior Ben Ford and sophomore Curtis Otto and freshman Noah Tipton. 

“It’s kind of odd on our end. Our athleticism is mainly in the front, but if you look at our defense, they can be unassuming, but they are highly intelligent defenders,” Memmer said.

“They use every bit of their ability and you can’t be prouder when you look at these guys who are playing beyond what most people would look at. Most of the games, like when we played Rossford last Thursday, and they got a shutout again and that is just ‘Wow,’” Memmer said.

Genoa soccer has been strong before, but it has taken a few years for Memmer to incorporate his style of play. 

“The first year I was there it was a whole lot of introduction of new stuff to them. They probably would have done really well had we had another year, but it was a new awakening to them. We started to get where old ideas have left and I have all the guys here are now ones that have been all the way through with me and none of them have had another high school coach. It’s starting to get that way,” Memmer said.

“A lot of these guys play club soccer, too, and that is helping it out, even though everything was an absolute mess this year (coronavirus pandemic), they still got a little bit of the winter in and a few tournaments in.” 







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