Riverside vs. Lakewood boys soccer: Beavers ride opening 40 to 2-0 win

Oct. 3—Riverside canvasses the map in Northeast Ohio to find challenging nonconference matches, from Avon Lake to Massillon Jackson and, Oct. 3, to Lakewood as it welcomed the Rangers for a nonconference tilt.

The Beavers showed their quality in the natural flow of attack in the opening 40, and not so much in the second 40, but it was plenty to get the result.

Riverside struck twice before halftime, including an Alexander Ross highlight-reel goal, and emerged with a 2-0 win.

#NHsoccer Riverside junior Sam Heramb discusses a 2-0 win over Lakewood

Liked the width he brought to the attack, willingness to go get touches in midfield and set-piece danger

Nice match amid a busy 48 hours for the Beavers pic.twitter.com/eN1E9bHhAS

— Chris Lillstrung (@CLillstrungNH) October 4, 2022

The only quandary was it was a tale of two halves for the Beavers (8-4-2) — and understandably, Coach Christian Kauzljar would prefer to see 80 instead of 40 in that regard.

"The first half was definitely the way we like to play," Kauzljar said. "In the second half, we kind of played their game. We chased the ball a lot. They're a very good team, a very disciplined kind of team. They play in the channels a lot. They're very fit, and they move off the ball very well. So it was definitely a tough 80 from us to grind out that win.

"(The half-over-half dropoff,) I want to pull my hair out half the time. (laughs) Especially I would say, beginning of the season, we had that second-half kind of 40, it was our first four games. Those kinds of 40s are definitely frustrating. Those first-half 40s, this back and middle stretch of the season, is how we've been playing, and it's good to see. But that second 40 is definitely not what I liked."

Riverside got its account opener in the 14th minute. Ethan Sieradzki capped some nice endline work with a ball in. It appeared in real time that service was deflected in by a Lakewood defender for an own goal.

The Beavers logged eight shots on target in the opening 40, working well through Sam Heramb, Skylar Landgraf and a cavalcade in the attack.

Ross made it a 2-0 match in the 19th. The senior collected service, settled a touch and had a go for a right-footed strike from distance, a first-class upper-90 effort for his second goal of the fall.

#NHsoccer Riverside 2-0

Alexander Ross with a lovely upper 90 strike from distance 19th min pic.twitter.com/p4R6O8KXwM

— Chris Lillstrung (@CLillstrungNH) October 3, 2022

While the second 40 was less than ideal, but solid enough in the defensive third for the Beavers' fourth clean sheet of the season, that opening 40 made up for it.

"Sometimes, I don't really think, and when it comes to me, I just hit it," Ross said of his goal. "Sometimes it's a good thing. Sometimes it's a bad thing. But I got a good hit.

"I thought it was a really good game. The first 40, we definitely played much better. This team was very good. They were very fit. We're not as fit, especially me. I think toward the second half, we just slowed down. We played defense really well and ended up with the win."

#NHsoccer My postmatch analysis of Riverside's 2-0 win over Lakewood

(Match story will be tweeted shortly) pic.twitter.com/UMUF1mhoOZ

— Chris Lillstrung (@CLillstrungNH) October 4, 2022