’Dogs finally break through versus Girard

GIRARD – Thomas Cardiero was a busy man Tuesday night.

The Girard sophomore goalkeeper was valiant throughout the first half turning away great looks from the Lakeview Bulldogs.

Though, eventually one of those shots on goal has to go in when it gets as high as it did for Lakeview.

In the end, 13 shots on goal for the Bulldogs to just three for the Indians told the tale as Lakeview walked away with a 3-0 win in Northeast-8 Conference play.

“Early in the first half, we weren’t taking the shots I wanted us to,” Lakeview coach Nicholas Facciolo said. “That’s what we talked about in the second half. I gave them free reign. If you are within 20 yards, just rip it. There’s no reason not to. They need to build up their confidence. We’re going to take our average we had against Canfield and here at Girard and move forward.”

Lakeview (3-3) played nearly the whole first half on the Girard (3-4-1, 1-3-1) side of the field it felt like with Logan Lew’s near goal at the 22:30 mark the start of some impressive saves from Cardiero.

The Indians were without junior captain Alan Whitfield, who is the catalyst that gets the Indians’ offense going.

“We lost possession a lot at the midfield, Girard coach Damon LaRiviere said. “My center mid (Whitfield), who’s really the general of the team, was out with a concussion. That hurt us. We struggled at the midfield without him. We’ll get him back on Saturday.”

It wasn’t until there was 15:29 left in the first half when Girard got their first shot on goal as the Bulldogs’ defense harassed the Indians all game.

“I got three solid backs,” Facciolo said. “I trust every single one of them at any of those three positions. They’ve worked together for the past three years. They know each other well. I’m happy with them. I’ve got two center mids standing in front of them that I trust as well.”

It showed as the Bulldogs allowed just two more shots on goal for the rest of the game.

The Bulldogs finally broke through when Brendon Kilpatrick got it past Cardiero to make it 1-0 with 12:35 left in the first half.

It would stay that way at the half as Cardiero turned away Kilpatrick three minutes later and Ryan Carnahan with 5:45 left in the first half.

Still, at halftime despite eight shots on goal, Lakeview held just a 1-0 lead and let Girard hang around.

“At halftime, we just wanted to keep up the same intensity and continue to work hard,” LaRiviere said. “We switched a few things up to try and create a little more offense. We wanted to take a little more risk on the defensive side. It didn’t pay off.

“I saw that we needed to try and control the midfield a little bit more. So I brought one of my strikers down at midfield to control that and then have a bit of an overlap. We just couldn’t get it going.”

The Bulldogs saw their success rate jump up with two goals from Jake Busefink at the 25:50 and 3:14 mark.

“Jake is a great player,” Facciolo said. “He has the skill. He has the speed. He’s an all-around great player. I rely on him quite a bit. All three of my captains: Jake, Brendon, and Josh (Collins). All three of them are fantastic players. They hold this team together.”

Busefink’s first goal was the nail in the coffin for the Indians as the loss of Whitfield showed.

“Even on Saturday against Canfield, it wasn’t the outcome we wanted or we hoped for, but I’m very proud of these guys because we’ve been able to put the ball on the ground and start playing a little bit better in the past couple games,” Facciolo said. “It’s something we’ve been working on all season.”


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