KETTERING — The Bellbrook girls soccer team was locked in a defensive battle Saturday at Alter High School. Both teams battled for possession, but it was the Knights who came out on top, 1-0.
Bellbrook had an opportunity to score early. Senior Kelsey Schoenung was driving towards the goal when Alter keeper Sarah Cady dove to stop the ball. While she deflected the ball out of the way, Schoenung still had a shot at an open net. But the Alter defense came to the aid of their keeper and obscured the shot enough that it went wide.
Shots were hard to come by. Good defensive play along with wet conditions kept the offense to a minimum. Unofficially Bellbrook (6-2) had four shots in the match. Alter (4-0-3) had six.
Bellbrook coach Zach Huffman said his team was well rested coming into the match after not playing for a week. He said he just thought the team was slow to adjust.
“I thought we came out a little bit flat compared to Alter. Very good Alter team. I think we match up really well with them,” he said. “We were slow to adjust to their formation in the first half. We did better in the second half, but it was a slow start.”
Alter coach Javier Iriart praised his team’s defense.
“They’ve been solid. We haven’t lost a game and it’s in large part because of our defense,” he said.
Both goalies had good days in the net. Bellbrook’s Bekah Vine finished with three saves. Cady had two saves for the Knights.
“I told them that when we play teams that are very good and that we match up well with, the differences come down to the small details,” said Huffman. “Win your 50-50 balls, communicate, mark up on defense. I think that those small things added up today and it showed.”
Alter sophomore Lauren Dietz finally put a point on the board with 13:20 left in the first half. She was wide right of the goal, but kicked a high ball that sailed just over Vine’s reach in the back left corner of the net.
“Lauren is a dynamic player. She has a great shot and we try to get her the ball. I was happy she was able to find just a little window to get that shot off,” said Iriart.
Alter’s defense got a boost from the return of senior captain, Lily Grunder. She had been struggling with injuries the past few years and got an ovation from the crowd when entering the game.
The Golden Eagles return to action at 7:15 p.m. today when they visit the Jills at Oakwood High School.
Reach Zach Gregory at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2124.