• Dr. Herpy

Young side showing glimpses of promise

Published in The News-Herald
September 24, 2018
Chris Lillstrung

Kenston appears to be on the verge of a breakthrough, and Coach Kathleen Vass and her side know it.

The Bombers are 5-2-3 heading into a Sept. 25 showdown with four-time Division I district champion Mayfield in Western Reserve Conference play.

The young side had five freshmen and sophomores and eight underclassmen in its starting 11 in a 5-1 win over Brush on Sept. 17.

Between the infusion of young talent and veteran performers such as senior striker Bri Yurkovich, senior midfielder Megan Randall and senior defender Anna Sanders, Vass has a good mix with which to work.

“We have a bunch of freshmen starting and coming off the bench, too,” Vass said. “We have a couple good seniors showing some leadership, and they’re all getting along really well. We have no problem playing any of them in any game. We have confidence in them.”

One whom Vass knows she can entrust confidence for a while is standout freshman attacker Skylar Cornell, who had a hat trick and two assists against the Arcs. Cornell’s technical skill on switches 1-on-1 against more experienced defenders and service sense is already noteworthy.

“She is a very unselfish player,” Vass said. “She’s a smart player. She’s a strong player. But she makes good decisions. She likes to give the ball to people when they’re open. When we need goals, she tries to find a way to put them in, too.

“She’s a good all-around player. She plays hard defensively. She wins a lot of balls that give us good chances to score.”

Kenston had a shot at a defining victory two days prior to dispatching the Arcs. Kirtland, ranked No. 1 in The News-Herald Top of the Crop and in the Division III state coaches poll, came in for an afternoon match and was down, 2-1, to the Bombers at half before rallying for a 4-2 win.

“That was a good game with Kirtland,” Cornell said. “I think we played well throughout the whole game, and we still had opportunities in the second half. We just didn’t finish them as much.

“Sometimes when we’re getting down, we get sadder or not as motivated. I think we need to try to keep that (intensity) throughout the whole game.”

Albeit a glimpse, it has Vass excited about what’s to come.

“We play a pretty competitive schedule, and I think we’ve known all along it’s going to be – we’re going to need the whole season to build up to a good finish,” Vass said. “And we’re fine with that. We’re taking it one step at a time.”

Kenston’s Bri Yurkovich discusses 5-1 win over Brush