by Colin Harris | Reporter
Mantua -- A change in formation resulted in a tournament victory for the Crestwood girls soccer team.
In switching to an attacking 4-3-3 formation, the Red Devils played fast and aggressive en route to a 3-0 Kent Division II sectional victory over Streetsboro on Monday evening.
"We changed our formation and it paid off for us," Crestwood head coach Marc Streem said. "We played much more aggressive and we were really able to control the game's tempo."
The victory marked the fourth game in seven days for Crestwood (8-4-5 overall), but the Red Devils did not seem devoid of energy, scoring in just the ninth minute of regulation.
Crestwood captain Stacey Larch dribbled the ball down the left side of the Rockets' box before firing a crossing pass that teammate Lindsay Thut was able to slip past Streetsboro senior keeper Marra Woods for the night's first score.
Rather than taking the foot off of the pedal, Crestwood rode its early momentum as the Red Devils attacked and pressured Streetsboro's defenders all evening.
The Red Devils finished the game with 16 shots on goal, compared to just three attempts for Streetsboro.
Much of regulation was played in Streetsboro territory as Crestwood tested Woods' ability in net early and often.
In her final game for the Rockets, Woods -- one of the top keepers in the PTC -- finished with 13 saves.
"I have to give Marra a lot of credit, because she made a lot of great saves," Streem said of the Rockets senior keeper. "We put a lot of pressure on and she did a great job of keeping [Streetsboro] in the game."
Crestwood added a pair of goals in the second half as sophomore Melissa Soltisz and junior captain Makenna Delgado each scored to ensure the Red Devils would move on in the postseason.
Streetsboro (4-12-1 final record) head coach Ryan Willard said he knew his team's opportunities would be limited against a Crestwood team that picked up a 2-1 regular season victory over the Rockets.
Host Streetsboro lost a 2-1 decision to Portage Trail Conference County Division rival Southeast Oct. 10.
The Pirates had a 1-0 lead at halftime. Alison Targosky scored the lone goal for the Rockets, who finished 2-7-1 in the County Division. Woods made 22 saves. Southeast had a 27-14 advantage in shots on goal.
Host Streetsboro lost a 3-1 decision to Euclid Oct. 8 at Glinatsis Stadium.
"The record isn't as good as what we had last year, but we gave up 20 less goals this season against a tougher schedule and closed the gap on teams like Crestwood and Trinity that both beat us much worse last year," Willard said. "We also improved through the season, giving Rootstown and Southeast much closer games the second time compared to the first time we played them."