Lakeview tops Canfield to win district boys soccer title

Busefink, Remmick

each get two goals



Since 2011, Lakeview and Canfield had won the most Division II boys soccer titles among area schools with two apiece.

So it was only fitting that the rivals met Saturday to break the tie. Only no one realized that in a game with so much at stake that Lakeview would win so decisively.

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 4 in the state in the final coaches poll, advanced to the regional semifinals for the third time in six years by scoring two goals in each half in claiming a 4-1 victory at Bo Rein Stadium.

Lakeview’s next game is Wednesday Richfield Revere winner at Solon High School. Revere beat CVCA, 2-0, in the Kent district final.

Junior Noah Busefink and sophomore Jeff Remmick split the Bulldogs’ four goals. Both of Busefink’s tallies were unassisted as he used his speed to beat Canfield’s back line.

“High school soccer goes in waves. It seems like the talent pool’s been between these two teams the last couple years,” Canfield coach Phil Simone said.

Lakeview coach Bryan Phillips went so far as to say that Canfield actually carried the play in the first half and deserved a better fate than to be trailing 2-0 at intermission.

“I really felt like Canfield had the better of the play in the first half,” said Phillips, whose team remains unbeaten at 18-0-1. “They came out strong, We were just able to capitalize on our opportunities.”

With a shake of his head, Simone succinctly summed up the Cardinals’ afternoon.

“They took advantage of their opportunities and we didn’t,” he said. “You can possess the ball all you want. But you have to put the ball in the back of the net.”

Lakeview, which entered the game with 99 goals among 18 different players, accomplishes that better than most teams with a combination of speed and a rollicking, aggressive style.

With the Bulldogs ahead 1-0, Busefink took what appeared to be a fairly innocent loose ball and turned it into a goal-scoring opportunity when he split two defenders and confronted Canfield senior goalie Jad Saleh. Busefink rifled a quick shot for a 2-0 advantage with 2:04 remaining in the first half.

“I told them before the game, ‘If you’re satisfied, go back to the bench,’ “ Busefink said. “We have real high hopes.”

Busefink’s second goal — which also showcased him speeding behind the Cardinals’ defense — deflected off Saleh but was shot with such force that it carried into the net to make it 4-0 with 32:08 to play.

“We’re attack-style. We might not be the prettiest team to watch, but we’re going to beat you to every ball we can. We’re going to attack and try and score as many goals as we can,” Phillips said.

“We’ve been fortunate to have that speed. That’s what you need to play that style.”

Simone consders himself fortunate to coach a team that lost 12 seniors from last year’s district champions but displayed significant improvement after losing three of its first five games to finish 11-7-1.

“From the beginning of the year until now, the guys improved a ton,” Simone said. “Being a young team, with only three seniors, it was a struggle, As they learned the system, they just built upon that all season. I think it’s a phenomenal feat.”