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Published: Thursday, 9/29/2005

Sidelines: Ka-boom!

BY MARK MONROE
BLADE SPORTS WRITER
Genoa senior Cory Hornyak has the Comets on pace to win a fourth straight Midland Suburban Soccer League championship. 
Genoa senior Cory Hornyak has the Comets on pace to win a fourth straight Midland Suburban Soccer League championship.
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GENOA Cory Hornyak already is the most prolific goal scorer in the history of Genoa soccer and the only thing preventing him from capturing all the school records is that his teammates are just too good.

Hornyak, a senior center-midfielder, has scored a school-record 69 goals in his career including 19 this season. He has his sights on the single-season mark of 34.

Hornyak and his 11 fellow seniors have not lost a game in the Midland Suburban Soccer League in four years. The Comets are 9-1-1 overall this season and are in first place in the MSSL (5-0). They can wrap up their fourth straight league title with one more win.

It s a team thing, Hornyak said of his gaudy statistics. Our offense is amazing. We have a lot of goal scorers. We have a lot of guys that can set up assists.

The Comets were ranked No. 5 in Ohio in Division III in the season s first poll, but have since fallen out of the top 10.

Ironically, the biggest obstacle to Hornyak setting the single-season mark is that the Comets have too many other quality scorers.

The problem is that we have such a good team this year. We have a lot of kids scoring goals, Dave Bertz said.

In many games, Genoa has been ahead by seven or more goals and Bertz will pull his starters. Last year, Hornyak scored 30 goals but the team had 109.

He just gets less opportunities, Bertz said.

Hornyak was a starter and scored five goals as a freshman and had 15 as a sophomore.

He has earned All-MSSL first-team honors three straight years and last season made the all-district first team. He was named the 2004 player of the year in the MSSL and was All-Ohio third team.

In the third game this year he broke the school record in career goals that was set by Adam Edens in 2003.

Hornyak, who has eight assists, said the outside forwards can also score well, including fellow seniors Mike Threet (center midfield) Ben Edens (right outside midfield), Sam Meek, (left outside midfield) and Jake Parker (forward).

Freshman forward Cody Katschke is the MSSL s second-leading scorer with 14 goals.

Goalie Jared Auer, a junior, tops the league with a 1.00 goals-against average.

Our team knows each other so well, we know where the ball is going to be placed before it s even kicked, he said. We just click real well.

Hornyak, 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, said his size is his biggest asset.

I m pretty quick for a big kid, he said. I m a bigger target. They ll send passes to me even if someone is right on me. I work my way around defenders.

Bertz said Hornyak s bulk results in laser beam kicks that more often than not result in goals.

I ve never had someone shoot the ball as hard as he does, Bertz said. He can do it with his right or left foot.

Bertz said Hornyak also out-musclesopponents to score a lot of head goals and can drill shots from 30 yards out.

I use my size, Hornyak said. I m a very physical player. I use it to my advantage.

Perhaps it is no surprise then that Hornyak also plays on the football team, handling all of the kicking chores. He punts, kicks field goals and kicks off. But he is most proud of the two tackles he has made.

I take off and get down there and have fun. I do enjoy that, he said. I ll go at it and take you head on.

But Hornyak s best moment so far has come on the soccer field. His biggest goal came last season in a game against Liberty-Benton.

With the league title on the line and the score tied 1-1 with less than five minutes left, Hornyak took the ball at midfield on a breakaway and scored the game-winner.

It s a crazy, good feeling, he said. I guess it would be like scoring a touchdown.

Bertz said the opposing coach said he knew the game was over when Hornyak took possession of the ball.

He went right through everyone, Bertz said. He blasted it right through the keepers hands. Their coach said when he saw No. 23 get the ball at the end of the game, he just put his hands over his eyes because he knew he was going to score.

Hornyak also is such a good pitcher and infielder that Ohio University and Youngstown State have sent him letters of interest to play baseball. Currently, Hornyak also has received letters from Defiance and Otterbein to play soccer.

He s one of the best I ve had, Bertz said.

Contact Mark Monroe at:mmonroe@theblade.com or 419-724-6110.



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