Crunch Secures Important Win with Big Week Up Ahead

by Mason Decker

The 1-1 Cleveland Crunch hosted the 0-5 Ohio Extreme on Saturday night for the second time in two weeks. The Crunch looked to replicate the same kind of success they had in their first game against the Extreme, where they scored a franchise record of 23 goals in a game and had three players score three or more goals. 

The Crunch started the game just as they ended their last game against the Extreme. Sammi Mutemwa swiftly opened the scoring, finding the back of the net a mere 38 seconds into the game. Following suit, Kevin Blackwood of the Crunch notched the second goal of the match, with aspirations to replicate his remarkable performance from the previous encounter against the Extreme, where he netted an impressive four goals. Mutemwa got himself his second goal of the game with a nifty crossover and a shot to the back of the net. The Crunch’s Mikey Derezic extended the lead to 4-0 with just over 3 minutes to play in the first quarter. The Extreme ended their scoring drought against the Crunch with a score at 1:28 left in the first quarter, but the Crunch answered back with Mutemwa earning his hat trick early in the match, and Cleveland led the Extreme 5-1 at the end of the first.

Forward for the Crunch, Blackwood opened up the scoring in the second quarter with his second goal of the game. Mutemwa continued his scoring spree with his fourth goal to put the Crunch up 7-1. Shortly after, Derezic mirrored the feat, securing his second and third goals of the game, one of them amidst the Crunch's power play. Midfielder for the Crunch, Jacob Roberto, who also made his Crunch debut, scored his first goal of the game to put Cleveland in a double digit lead. Aidan Bozak, named Man of the Match in the previous match between these teams, capped off the scoring in the second quarter with his first goal of the night, solidifying the Crunch's commanding lead at 11-1.

Derezic kicked off socring in the second half and secured his fourth of the match. The Crunch’s Isaac Chitwood and Pedro Bertony Tzul, who also made their Crunch debut, each put one on the board to make the lead 14-1. Ryan Minick followed closely to increase Cleveland’s lead to 15-1 after 3 quarters of play. 

Boban Cancar and Minick put the crunch up 17-1 to start the fourth quarter. The Crunch did not slow down as Bozak scored his second goal of the night and the crunch led 18-1.

Derezic was named the MetroHealth ‘Man of the Match' with 9 points, 4 goals and 5 assists. When asked about the energy of the sold out crowd he said, “Yeah you want to prove to them…[they] definitely give us that little extra boost of energy.” Derezic talked about the unselfish play by the offense tonight which led to the success of the team. “[We] moved the ball very well, executed what we needed to execute…everything is just coming together.”

Lastly, when asked about how the team will prepare for the big upcoming game this week against Grand Rapids, he promptly said, “Discipline…gotta keep the discipline defensively.” In the last two games the Crunch have given up only 1 goal. 

The Crunch will host the undefeated Grand Rapids this week on Saturday, February 3 at the Soccer Sportsplex. Tickets are on sale now at