Gulu’s hat trick sends Hubbard past Lakeview
HUBBARD — In what was likely his final home game at Hubbard High School, Jacob Gulu made sure to deliver.
Gulu nearly scored a hat trick in the first half and made sure to finish the job in the second, as Hubbard cruised to a 6-0 win over Lakeview in the opening round of the 2021 postseason.
It marked a breakthrough for the Eagles (8-7), who had been eliminated in the first round the past couple of seasons, according to Gulu.
“The last two years, we lost in the first round, so we really needed this one,” he said. “It’s been a while since we got past this, so it feels good to finally get past the first round.”
The Eagles took control early, maintaining possession for most of the first half. Nathan Komorek got the scoring started at the 34:41 mark as he collected a through ball down the middle from Jaden Johnston and buried it into the bottom left corner.
Just eight minutes later, Gulu got his hat trick rolling with a goal off a cross from Jonas Frisk. Gulu struck again just before halftime, as he scored with 8:16 to play before the intermission.
He nearly completed his hat trick a few minutes later, but his shot bounced off the right post, then the left, before being cleared by the Bulldogs (3-8-1).
Gulu scored his third and final goal of the night about midway through the second half, after swiping the ball away from a Lakeview player and racing down the pitch toward the net.
“My teammates were finding me and putting me in the right spots to get the right shots against goal,” Gulu said.
Komorek and Danny Barr finished Hubbard’s scoring in the final 15 minutes of play to bring the final tally to 6-0.
“It was pretty good. We just try to work hard and take it one game at a time,” Hubbard head coach Cory Reinard said. “We worked really hard on our ball movement and worked off the ball, so we’re pleased to get the win tonight and move on.”
And while the scoring display, particularly Gulu’s, was impressive, the Hubbard defense made its mark, too. The Eagles didn’t allow a shot on goal in the contest, and rarely allowed any serious attacking threats by Lakeview.
“The defense was solid. When they were called upon, they did their job,” Reinard said. “We worked and tried to get them involved as much as we can with the ball movement … from our defense to attack. We try to work out of that.”
The loss brings the season to its end for Lakeview. The Bulldogs featured a young roster this season, and graduate just three seniors. As such, head coach Nicholas Facciolo is optimistic for the future.
“We’re a young team; we have a lot of improvements we can make. It’s continuous improvement,” he said.
Of the Eagles, he added, “Hubbard is a great team led by a great coach and a great (Gulu). Hats off to those guys and good luck to them. We’ll be back next year.”
Lakeview goalkeeper Anthony Marble-Slaem faced pressure throughout the night, and recorded 11 saves for the Bulldogs.
“He’s a freshman, and I’m looking forward to the next three years with him for sure,” Facciolo said.
Hubbard now faces Gates Mills Hawken, who hammered Akron Buchtel 10-1 in their opening round matchup.