Orange High School senior goalkeeper Adam Rosenthal and his teammates have accomplished one of their goals – they won Chagrin Valley Conference Chagrin Division championship. He made eight saves as the Lions clinched the crown with a 1-0 triumph over visiting Hawken School of Chester Township on Sept. 24.

For his performance this season, Rosenthal is the Cleveland Jewish News-Buffalo Wild Wings Warrensville Heights Player of the Week.

Rosenthal, 17, is one of two seniors to start for the Lions and his steady presence has helped his younger teammates adapt to starting roles.

At the start of the season, it may not have looked like the Lions were a championship-caliber team.

Rosenthal said besides a “rocky” start to the season against Rocky River High School, the team has definitely come on strong at the right time.

“I think everyone’s coming together really well,” he said. “Last year, we kind of had a lot of young players who were inexperienced, especially with high school soccer, but a lot of them decided to play club and play with different teams in the offseason. We came together really well at the beginning and during our preseason tournament. So everyone is jelling really nicely together. Chemistry, I think, is one of our most important and high-valued aspects of our team.”

Rosenthal said the team set three goals: to be the first to score in every game; to win the conference; and to advance deep into the state playoffs.

Through 13 matches, the team was 6-4-3 overall and 4-0-1 in the conference. Rosenthal has four shutouts and

42 saves in conference matches.

“He’s been great for us all year,” first-year coach Chris Cevecko said. “I was the assistant last year and he was solid back there all year.

“He was named a captain and he’s done a great job of leading the team. Communication-wise, just leading by example and being a good role model for some of the younger guys. He’s really good back there for us because he’s very trustworthy. He can use both feet, left or right, to take a ball, a really good shot stopper as well, good reactions, knows when to come out, knows when to stay in net. Overall, he’s a good leader and a lot of guys look up to him as an example of what we want Orange soccer players to represent.”

Ed Carroll, a freelance writer from Cleveland, contributed to this report.

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