Riverside vs. Mentor boys soccer: Beavers, Cardinals battle to 1-1 stalemate

Aug. 26—One of the more redeeming qualities of soccer is the variety of perception — and with it, it's nearly impossible to be wrong.

Emerging from an Aug. 26 nonconference match, Mentor coach Michael Sesar felt his Cardinals' side did enough to net a positive result.

Riverside counterpart Christian Kauzljar felt his Beavers' side arguably merited more from an 80 on the road.

Perhaps they simultaneously both had a point — well, at least they each have a proverbial point to show for the match.

Mentor's Jason Russ and Riverside's Sam Heramb traded strikes past the hour mark in a 1-1 stalemate.

With seven shots on target and seven corners, about all the Beavers lacked was end product.

"I would say 1-1 — it's a tie, but it feels kind of like a loss to me with the way we played," Kauzljar said. "We played pretty well moving the ball. We maybe should have used a little more width. That final ball, we couldn't find tonight than normally. But overall, I'll take the 1-1 result."

PHOTOS: Mentor vs. Riverside boys soccer, Aug. 26, 2023

The Cardinals had some intent — and moving standout attacker Cody Rastall from the left flank to the right after halftime was helpful tactically. But they generated two shots on target overall, including the goal from Russ.

"The first half, our midfield, we didn't do a good job of matching up the way I like to," Sesar said. "In the second half, we kind of fixed things and matched up to the midfield, and we started seeing more of the possession and getting the balls into the attack and creating some chances."

Russ broke open a 0-0 deadlock in the 64th minute with a smooth finish from the left side of the box, his fourth goal of 2023.

Heramb responded with a late equalizer in the 73rd, latching onto a pacey through ball from Matthew Hribar and slotting a left-footed finish side net, his third goal of the fall.

#NHsoccer Riverside equalizer through Sam Heramb 73rd min

1-1 match

— Chris Lillstrung (@CLillstrungNH) August 27, 2023

One aspect that garnered frustration for both coaches was set pieces.

Mentor (2-1-1) and Riverside (1-1-1) combined for 11 corners and several restarts in dangerous areas but had absolutely nothing to show for it, most being quick work for Beavers goalkeeper Owen Silva and Cardinals keeper Derek Ufholz.

"That's one thing that we weren't able to practice this week much, actually at all," Kauzljar said of set pieces. "Monday, we are practicing set pieces for sure. That's one thing we're going to work on this week. We haven't gotten to it yet. It's August. We've got to get that rust off. We'll work on that for sure in the future."

Added Sesar: "I don't know ... it's early on in the season. We've had a lot of thunder cancellations and canceling practices, so it's hard to get a rhythm this time of year without putting time into it. I think it'll get better."

Hribar was unlucky with a bar skimmer in the 20th and on a block in the box in the 24th.

Russ nearly grabbed the opener in the 44th but was turned away well by Silva.

#NHsoccer My postmatch video analysis from a 1-1 draw between Riverside & Mentor

Like I said here, guys, please ... work on your set pieces on the training ground — you're better sides than that in that regard

(Match story will be posted shortly)

— Chris Lillstrung (@CLillstrungNH) August 27, 2023