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Twinsburg boys soccer looks to push for league title

by Steve Batko | Correspondent Published: August 24, 2016 12:00 AM
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Twinsburg's boys soccer team has a strong mix of experience and tremendous young talent with a huge youth movement.

Last season, the youthful Tigers finished 6-7-4 overall and were seeded ninth in the Kent Roosevelt Division I sectional tournament.

Veteran head coach Michael Lally returns a slew of third-year veterans and leaders.

"We were extremely young last year," said Lally, entering his 28th season overall.

The three-year vets include midfielder-forward Elijah Savitt (first-team All-Suburban League), keeper Carter Yee (honorable mention all-league), forward Tyler Gairing (honorable mention All-Greater Cleveland), defender Prit Patel, defender Jake Carinci and forward Sean Silas.

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In addition, third-year junior Jason Stahlman also is back.

Stahlman is a midfielder that made second-team All-Suburban League and also earned honorable mention All-Greater Cleveland for the Tigers.

Danny Bonsignore is another three-year athlete who plays in the midfield for the Tigers. He was an honorable mention All-Greater Cleveland.

Lally also has junior defender Jonathon D'Isidoro, who enters his third campaign.

Another returnee to watch is sophomore Jack Benak, a midfielder who made honorable mention all-league.

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"We have some experience back, and the seniors have shown a lot of good leadership and I think several are among the top players in the area," said Lally.

Lally pointed to Savitt, Yee, and Gairing for the seniors.

"Savitt is a three-year attacking midfielder, Yee is in his third season as the keeper and I am very pleased with where he is at," he said. "Gairing is healthy and looking good so far."

The Tigers hope to have Patel at full strength soon as he recovers from a groin injury that has plagued him.

"We have some amazing senior leaders," said Lally.

Two more promising sophomores are also back in midfielder Jon Szydlowski and keeper Jacob Pruett.

"We have some guys back this season as we cut their teeth last year, but I think we carry ourselves with confidence now," said Lally.

Defense was strong last season and looks to be a quality crew this fall as well. The Tigers will be looking to generated solid movement on offense.

Twinsburg graduated a strong senior class led by Amani Thornton, Ty Vanderweit, Kai Vogeler, Jason Flack and Dimitri Mavrakis,

Despite the losses, Lally is high on his program with the returning experience and an impressive youth movement.

The Tigers junior varsity team finished undefeated at 12-0-2 last season and handed Cleveland Saint Ignatius their first loss of the year. The freshman team was 11-1.

A large cast of newcomers will make an immediate impact.

First-year juniors include defender Brian Bartolovich, forward Scott Loughley, defender Karanvir Sandhu, midfielder William Sheehan, defender Aaryan Singh, midfielder Ben Trevino, defender Ryan Weinberg and defender Terrence Wilson.

A visit to Korb Stadium kicked off the season this year for Twinsburg as the Tigers posted a 2-1 win over Lyndhurst Brush Aug. 19.

Lally was glad to have the team get their feet wet.

"It was a great atmosphere," said the coach.

Yee posted four saves in the win as talented Brush standout Brett Gordon scored for the host Arcs.

Twinsburg's goals came from Savitt and Szydlowski as they got it past Arcs keeper Jeff Hamilton. The Tigers had an 8-1 advantage on corner kicks.

Top sophomore newcomers are midfielders Jason Ahern, J. Vaziliauskas and Bryce Woods.

Lally was thrilled with the kids' work in the off season, which including weight lifting and a team "lock-in" at the Twinsburg Hilton. The event featured training and team building.

"I thought we really had a fantastic summer and off season," pointed out the mentor.

In upcoming action, Twinsburg plays on the road Aug. 27 against rival Solon. The Tigers hosted Willoughby South Aug. 23, but final results weren't available as of this writing.

The Tigers open up the Suburban League National Conference play Aug. 30 at North Royalton. Twinsburg plays at Eastlake North Sept. 3 in non-league play. All games start at 7 p.m.

Twinsburg has competed in loaded conferences in the past so the move to the Suburban League National is no shock, although the slate is strong.

"Our schedule remains very tough this season," said Lally. "There are no weak teams in the league and our non-league schedule is really good."

Email: mleonard@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9442

Facebook: MLeonardRPC


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