Sunday, February 25, 2018

Hornets finish 2017 season as Division III state runners-up

After reaching the Division III Final Four in 2015, the Kirtland girls’ soccer team took the next step this fall and won its second regional championship in three seasons and the Hornets also advance to the state championship game for the first time in school history.

After reaching the Division III Final Four in 2015, the Kirtland girls’ soccer team took the next step this fall and won its second regional championship in three seasons and the Hornets also advance to the state championship game for the first time in school history.

That game ended in a 4-0 loss to Cincinnati Summit Country Day. The state championship was the third for the Silver Knights in five finals appearances since 2011.

“We played one of the best teams in the state of Ohio, regardless of division,” said Kirtland coach Ed Bradac. “We knew we had to almost play mistake-free soccer, so to give up two goals in the first five minutes was not the way we wanted to start.”

The loss was disappointing, but Bradac and the Hornets are confident they’ll be back.

“I think if you look at successful programs throughout the state, it takes that tipping point or one moment to get you over the top,” Bradac said. “For us, that was in 2015 and you can see what the result of that has been. We just again knocked over another barrier for us to get to the final. I don’t think that we now settle for anything less than that goal each year.”

The Hornets, who finished the year 15-5-3, closed out the season ranked No. 9 in Division III.

Senior Hannah Vouk, who finished the season with five goals and 12 assists, earned All-Ohio honors for the second straight season. She was second team last year and first team this fall.

“At the beginning of the year, I decided to set one goal for myself, to be first team All-Ohio,” Vouk said. “I set this goal for myself because I thought it was seemingly impossible. I knew I would have to work harder and be better than I was last year, and most importantly, I had to show it through leading the team.”

Vouk closed out her career with 31 goals and 47 assists.

“When (Coach Ed) Bradac told me I got it, my jaw kind of hit the floor,” Vouk said. “To know that I had pushed myself harder than I ever did before meant everything. I proved to myself and to others that hard work pays off, no matter how much time it takes. I am filled with so much excitement, especially because I know my team has supported me through it all. Not only that, but they have pushed me to be better, to improve on anything possible. The same thing goes with all of our coaches and my dad. This award means that I can make them proud and that I can, hopefully, set an example for other players. This means that playing with heart shows who you really are as an athlete and a person. I am so pleased that people saw that in me.”

Sophomore Maya Zovko led the Hornets with 50 points on 21 goals and eight assists. Junior Jenna Sayle recorded 19 points (6 goals, 7 assists), senior Katie McCollister pitched in with 13 points (6-1) and freshman Leah LaVerde contributed with 11 points (4-3).

Senior goalkeeper Gabby Culotta closed out the year with 79 saves.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.