Pugh leads Wickliffe to sectional title with 3-0 win over Cuyahoga Hts
BY TIM SHIRER
Saturday’s Sectional soccer final feature the home Wickliffe Blue Devils and the visiting Cuyahoga Hts. Redskins figured to be a match. The two clubs met earlier in the season and
Wickliffe came out on top 2-0. The match was a defensive struggle for most of the first half until Wickliffe broke through and eventually prevailed 3-0.
Wickliffe came out and played stifling defense led by seniors Riley Pugh, Brady Wilson and Joe Gamiere. It was Pugh offensively that got Wickliffe on the board with the first goal of the game, a header with only 1:56 left in the first half. The first half ended with the Blue Devils leading 1-0. Cuyahoga Hts. managed only one shot on goal in the first half, while the Blue Devils had five shots.
As the Wickliffe defense continued to smother the Redskins offense, sophomore Gianni LaPaglia took over on the offensive side of the ball. With 18:43 remaining in the game the sophomore blasted a ball past the Cuyahoga defense into the back of the net to put Wickliffe ahead 2-0.
The final goal of the game came from Blue Devils junior Nick Telisman with 14:57 left on the clock. LaPaglia took a pass from Junior Nick Colbert and passed it to Telisman who promptly used his foot to place it in the back of the goal, giving Wickliffe a 3-0 lead. LaPaglia was credited with an assist on the play.
The Wickliffe offense was potent in the second half as they took 12 shots on goal, while their defense as usual was stingy allowing only three shots on goal by the Redskins.
The Blue Devils will now move on to the Districts and play in the District Semifinal on Tuesday Night at 7:00 p.m. against a TBD (at the time of this writing) opponent at Wickliffe Memorial Stadium as they are the number two seed in the district.