BELLBROOK — It wouldn’t be a Centerville-Bellbrook soccer match if there wasn’t at least one yellow card drawn during the game. Buttons were pushed and patience was tested when the Bellbrook Lady Eagles visited Centerville, Saturday.
“Imagine that. It’s that history. A lot of these girls played together, so it’s always going to be a little chippy,” said Bellbrook coach Doug Wampler. “The seniors have seen Centerville a lot and they always play them close. It wasn’t as close as we would like to see, but that rivalry is still there. It’s to be expected.”
The Lady Elks (4-0) pressured the Bellbrook girls (2-1) in the first half and built up a 3-0 lead that would stand as the final score.
“Obviously we struggled with the first half. We made adjustments, but the speed of play kind of backed us up a little bit because we don’t see that very often. We just weren’t in our game,” said Wampler. “We didn’t play our possession like we normally do. In the second half we did, we put our striker up there and we played with a little more composure and purpose. “
Centerville’s pressure started early and it was constant. Five minutes into the contest, Centerville junior Alyssa Walker broke out in transition and had a clear shot on goal, but Bellbrook keeper Bekah Vine made a nice save to keep the Elks off the board. Overall, Centerville had six shots on goal and five corner kicks compared to Bellbrook’s one shot attempt.
All of Centerville’s goals came with 15 minutes left in the first half. Sophomore Grace Geise scored unassisted with just over 14 minutes left in the half. Sophomore Taran McMillian scored with 10 minutes left with help from junior Korinna Lakes. Maria Gardner put in the third goal with just under five minutes left. The ball was lost in a group in front of the Bellbrook goal when Centerville’s Walker found Gardner for the assist.
Wampler talked about Centerville’s effectiveness in scoring off corner kicks.
“I think the second half we played even, but the first half we made some mental mistakes. We talked about the corners. They got two goals on that because we didn’t send two. In the second half we sent two and the players over to take care of it, and all of a sudden that changes,” he said.
Bellbrook made some key adjustments at halftime and was able to play a lot more even with the Elks in the second half. Their time of possession greatly increased and they were able to put more pressure on the Centerville keeper. The Elks had only three shots in the second half and two corner kicks. Bellbrook had two shots and a single corner, but Wampler said he liked what he saw from his team.
“Going forward, we’re going to work on our possession in tough games with lots of pressure. We need to work on that a little bit, and keeping our composure. We need to work on recognizing those changes…looking at their formation. We should have seen that in the beginning. We need to recognize that as a team.”
Bellbrook is back on the road at 7 p.m. today when the visit Germantown Valley View.
Zach Gregory is a staff writer for the Greene County Newspapers. He can be reached at (937) 372-4444, ext. 2124