In a close affair that went down to the final whistle, the Avon Lake Shoremen beat the Elyria Pioneers 2-1 in a game at Avon Lake Memorial Stadium this afternoon.
The Shoremen got off to a great start for the third game in a row, taking the lead in the 8th minute of the game on a goal by junior Cam Salco, his third of the season.
It all started with strong combination play by junior Andrew Jacobson and sophomore Spencer Chippi, and ended with Jacobson’s cross being slammed home by Salco on the back post. The assist was Jacobson’s third of the year.
From there Avon Lake stayed in control, ceding few chances to the Pioneers, but also lacking the cutting edge to put any more goals in themselves. The score stayed 1-0 through halftime.
The second half started with Elyria looking even more for the long ball to breakdown the Avon Lake defense, and 7 minutes in they broke through. Goalie Stephen Jones was drawn away from his net but unable to come up with the ball, and the Pioneers scored from a sharp angle to level the score.
The intensity–and foul count–escalated from there. Several yellow cards were assessed as the Pioneers sought to win the physical battles to slow the Shoremen down, including a second yellow to a Pioneer player in the 64th minute, resulting in his expulsion. Elyria was forced to play a man down for the remainder of the match.
Avon Lake continued battling as Elyria changed formation to try and preserve the tie while playing down, and finally capitalized with under 5 minutes left on a goal by junior Edison Lemanowicz, his team-leading sixth of the year.
His goal came from a corner kick assisted by senior Jack Lawniczak, his fourth assist on the year. The corner kick was earned by heads up play by senior Charlie Yungvirt, who dribbled at the Pioneer defense and ripped a shot that looked goal-bound before their goalie parried it away.
The Shoremen held on the rest of the way to earn a tough, 2-1 home victory. They outshot Elyria 20-5, including 10-1 for shots on goal. Avon Lake improves to 4-0-3 overall.
“I’m always pleased when the boys show they can fight through adversity and come back to win the game late, but I’ll know we are really on the right track when we put away the teams we should beat early,” said head coach Pete Klepek.
The JV won comfortably in the early match, 9-0, in a game which included a hat trick by sophomore Will Meyer. They improve to 5-1-1.
Both teams play next at North Ridgeville on Wednesday in an SWC matchup. Games at 5pm and 7pm.