BEAVERCREEK — There didn’t appear to be any circular targets on any of the Beavercreek players’ uniforms, but their coach said each of them knew it was there.
Playing their first game since being ranked the top Division I team in the Miami Valley and the seventh best team in the state, Beavercreek needed two second-half goals in order to fend off Fairborn (2-2-1).
Beavercreek (5-0) won the match, 2-0, at Frank Zink Field.
“We feel there’s a bullseye on us every game, whether the polls are out or not. When you play well, anyone that’s having a marginal season, if they can beat us or beat somebody else, it gives them a little thing that they can look at as an accomplishment during the season,” said Beavercreek coach John Guiliano.
Beavercreek put the pressure on for most of the contest, but Fairborn packed in its defense and did everything it could to prevent a Beavers scoring run.
The Beavers appeared to over-load their offense in the second half, but it wasn’t until the 28:30 mark in the second half, when senior forward Tristan Lyle dribbled right-to-left, spun and fired off a low worm-burner to the right to score from about 15 yards away, that anybody got on the scoreboard.
Three minutes later, Lyle got off a shot that clanged off the left post. Beavercreek teammate and fellow senior forward Matt Williams got the rebound and scored from the left side to give the Beavers their final margin.
Fairborn goaltender Dakota Cox had 16 saves in the loss. Fairborn had four shots on goal. Fairborn coach Greg Dierker was proud of his team’s effort, despite the eventual loss.
“This was a very respectable, well-played loss,” Dierker said. “Beavercreek is one of the top team’s in the state and we have a lot of respect for them. For us to get into the second half with the score still 0-0, and to have one goal called back for us, it was an exciting game.”
A Fairborn player appeared to have knocked in a ricocheted ball for a score with 18:34 left in the match, but the Skyhawks had been whistled offsides on the play, and so the score was nullified.
“They’ve beaten a lot of teams by a lot of goals, so it feels good to be able to compete,” Dierker said of Beavercreek. “Baris (Yagmurkaya) in midfield, and Kris (Dierker) and Skylar (Shonkwiler) in the back, they cleaned up a lot of messes for us. Our goalie, Dakota Cox was all over the place … it was really a solid team effort. Everybody who took the field did their job.
“It was a solid effort. You can’t ask for more than that.”
Four of Beavercreek’s five wins so far this season have been shutouts. The only game where they gave up any goals was a 3-2 win last week at Lebanon. The Beavers return to action on Tuesday when they’ll play at Huber Heights Wayne.
Fairborn’s loss snaps a two-game winning streak for the Skyhawks. They’ll play at Springfield on Thursday.
John Bombatch is Sports Editor for Greene County Newspapers. He can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.