After a week that saw lackluster play from the Hiland Hawks, coach Scott Bodiker saw his squad come out and play a solid game from start to finish, laying a 5-0 beat down on the Youngstown Cardinal Mooney on Saturday, October 9.
Hiland dominated the field and possession and overpowered the younger Mooney squad from the first whistle. But even with the domination, the Hawks couldn’t get on the board until Clay Gerber bounced one in from inside the six midway through the first half.
Two minutes later Declan Howell found a deflection on the right side and turned it nicely just inside the far post for a 2-0 lead. Hiland would have more chances before the half but still held only a two-goal lead at the break.
Early in the third, after Derek Miller drilled one off the crossbar and Jared Yoder’s header on the follow was wrapped up by the goalie, Sinjon Howell put on a clinic a minute later as he split two defenders wide left and crossed it to Miller who netted an easy goal for a 3-0 Hiland lead with 36:00 to play.
At the 31 minute mark, the Hawks would score again when Derek Miller went high for a Garrett Miller throw and skipped a header to the back post to Tyson Gingerich who touched it in for a 4-0 lead.
Earvin Keim would round out the scoring with one minute to play as he outhustled the defense and drove one into the left side for his second goal of the year.
The game was a much-needed one for the Hawks, as they have lately dominated the ball and the shot count, but haven’t been able to put it on the scoreboard.
“It was a good effort by our guys from start to finish today,” said Bodiker. “The first half was a little bit in spurts, we didn’t finish the chances but we put the shots on goal, and that’s what we didn’t do the other day (versus Chippewa). That’s the big difference, today we made the goalie make saves put the shots on goal, and that’s important.”
The game was lopsided to the tune of 20 shots to 5 in the favor of Hiland, which was never seriously threatened with giving up a goal, with most being easy saves for goalie Isaiah Yoder.
With the win Hiland moves to 9-2-2 on the season, with the suspended 2-0 lead on Waynedale still hanging in the balance. The tournament draw will be held on Sunday, with Hiland likely receiving a high seed, but that still depends on voting by other schools in the tournament.