The Avon Lake Shoremen boys soccer team enjoyed tremendous success during a unique 2020 season. With the typical cycle of preseason preparation upended due to the pandemic, and indeed with the season on hold until just before it was scheduled to begin, the Shoremen managed to navigate the turbulence en route to a stellar 16-3-1 (7-1 SWC) record and a coveted district championship.
The team tallied 60 goals on the year for an average of 3.0 goals per game, with both of those being the highest numbers put up in at least the last 17 seasons, and possibly more. On the other end of the pitch the team allowed a meager 16 goals, for an average of 0.8 goals per game, which included 9 shutouts. Only a heartbreaking 1-0 defeat to Avon in the very first game, the teams only conference blemish, prevented the Shoremen from repeating as SWC conference champions.
An outstanding regular season earned the Shoremen the 4th seed out of 33 teams in our Northeast Super District. With the adjusted postseason bracketing procedures Avon Lake ended up in the “group of death” district, featuring the 3rd (Avon), 4th (Avon Lake), 5th (Brunswick) and 6th (Copley) seeds. The Shoremen breezed past a solid Medina Highland team 4-0, narrowly edged a game Copley squad 2-1, and triumphed over a veteran Brunswick team 3-0 to earn the vaunted title of district champions for the first time since 2013.
This team was led by its senior class, who despite their relatively small number (6) made a sizable impact on the team.
Sean Graney and Cullen Reutter were the bedrock foundation of the team, holding down the center back positions and providing peace of mind for the coaches that the defense would be sturdy and often dominant.
Logan Allemeier was the engine of the team from his center midfield spot, working the ball up and down the field as a true box-to-box midfielder. He may not have tallied as many counting statistics as some of his teammates, but Logan often provided the pass before the assist, or the key ball to unlock a defense, and his work rate defensively was tremendous as well.
Liam Reutter and Zach Ramsey were a dynamic one-two punch in the offensive third, combining for 26 goals and 27 assists. Liam’s ability to thread the final pass enabled him to establish a new single-season assist record with 18, while Zach’s well-timed runs and cool finishing propelled him to a team-leading 14 goals in spite of missing 4 games due to injury.
Tyler Johnson was instrumental as the primary attacker of the bench, notching 5 goals, while also serving as the ballast of the team, with his personality and leadership shining through whether on the pitch or on the sideline.
If the contributions of the younger players in the program is any indication the Shoremen will be well-positioned to make another run next year as well.
Junior Zach Glesius was tremendous in net all year, receiving kudos from opposing coaches for his ability to make timely, acrobatic saves, and growing into a vocal leader from the back.
Junior Nate Summerfield had a big role as the starting forward, scoring 7 goals (9 if you count the two own goals he helped create) and doing a lot of work in service of the team by tracking the ball defensively, making hard runs, and combining with others.
Junior Andy Neipp was a starter all season who showed up in big games, from his perfect through ball to Liam Reutter for the opening goal at St. Ignatius, to his game-winning goal late in the District Final against Brunswick, and he will be counted on for more big moments next year.
Junior Andrew Crooks started the season as a reserve winger/forward, and did well in this role, but a midseason shift to defensive mid helped elevate the team to a new level as his work rate, discipline and technical ability made him a perfect fit as a ball winner, man-marker, and distributor from deep.
Junior Owen Wiley was a dynamo down the right flank, pinning opposing wing backs in their own half as he got forward to create for himself and others, and getting stuck in defensively when called upon.
Sophomore Max Kramhoeller showcased his own ability to get forward from the left, using each foot interchangeably as he attacked dangerously, along with superb one on one defending, often shutting down the other team’s most talented winger.
Juniors Jake Grode and Joel Tassinari would be starters on most other teams in Northeast Ohio, but for the Shoremen they were utility players of the highest quality, coming off the bench and making an immediate impact.
Juniors Nick DelGiudice, Aiden Folds, and Brady Walls, and sophomores Will Fazio, Patrick Haley, Omar Kamhawi, Liam Noss, and Ben Tyson, all received varsity minutes this season and will be relied upon to step into new larger roles next season as well.
Congratulations to Coach Caleb Reutter for another outstanding season. The JV Shoremen finished the year at 11-3-2. They lost only 1 game in the SWC which likely earned them top honors in the SWC for JV programs. This success at the JV level should be a motivational factor pushing the boys forward to win at the next level. With the quality of the returning varsity players as well as the JV players who are ready to be challenged the coaching staff is very excited about what we can do in the years to come. Continue to find somewhere to play in the off season. Keep working on your touch and be ready to rise to the challenge. The graduating seniors have set a high bar. Let’s rise to meet it.
As one would expect, a season of this quality was spearheaded by some amazing individual play coalescing into the larger team movement. And as you would also expect, many of those individuals earned postseason accolades for those efforts. What follows is a listing of all the individual awards received by Shoremen this season:
All-Ohio First Team
All-Greater Cleveland First Team
All-Greater Cleveland Second Team
All Greater Cleveland Honorable Mention
All Greater Cleveland Division 1 Assistant Coach of the Year
SWC First Team
SWC Second Team
SWC Honorable Mention
Lorain County Co-Player of the Year
All-Lorain County First Team
All-Lorain County Second Team
All-Lorain County Second Team Goalkeeper
All-Lorain County Honorable Mention
Lorain County Assistant Coach of the Year
The Morning Journal Head Coach of the Year
In addition to the successes enjoyed on the field in 2020 the boys also did outstanding work in the classroom, earning a Team Academic Award with a team GPA of 4.04, along with fours seniors garnering distinction as Academic All-Ohio:
Sean Graney, 3.99
Zachary Ramsey, 4.08
Cullen Reutter, 4.43
Liam Reutter, 4.40