Published in The News-Herald
August 18, 2018
Jack Amendola, Aaron Passalacqua and Zach Hoover struck for goals in the first 17 minutes as visiting Chagrin Falls blanked rival Kenston, 3-0, on Aug. 17 during Friday Night Futbol to open the season.
Amendola put the Tigers (1-0) on their way in the second minute. The senior striker put away a right-footed finish in traffic — a smart touch near post with his inside foot — as Chagrin took control of the 46th meeting all-time for the neighborhood foes.
“We took advantage of the circumstances in the first 20 with a PK, and Amendola had a nice shot within the first two minutes,” Tigers coach Brian McKenna said. “Certainly, we’d like to have better possession throughout the game. We didn’t have it, but that’s a testament to the Kenston team. They settled down, and they started to make us work a lot.”
Passalacqua contributed a penalty kick in the 12th minute, taken down in the box on a run and then taking care of a right-footed strike from the spot. The standout senior midfielder then delivered a precise ball far post on a corner kick in the 17th minute, and Hoover did well with a header.
“When we come out here, especially with the fans of each side all cheering, just that first 10 minutes, 15 minutes is what sets the pace for the rest of the game,” Passalacqua said. “It not only builds our confidence, but it builds our whole momentum toward the second half.”
The Bombers (0-1) improved after halftime in possession, with junior mid Donny Maynard showing promise. But the early hole was simply too much.
“Chagrin set the tone from the get-go with the pace and the intensity,” Kenston coach Josh Sladick said. “As much as we work on that in training — we do offense vs. defense. I say something like, ‘Offense, you’re down by one. You have to win. Defense, you’re up by one. You have to sustain the lead.’ And so the intensity is there in training. It’s a failure to bring it into the game. It’s something that I need to find a way to make that bridge a little bit easier.”