By John Bombatch
BEAVERCREEK — Even Fairborn’s Blue Wall of defense wasn’t enough to keep host Beavercreek from scoring in Tuesday’s 7-0 Beavers win at Frank Zink Field.
Fairborn (3-8-3) packed seven players in on defense, roughly 10-20 yards sometimes closer around the Skyhawks’ goal, and fifth-ranked Beavercreek (10-1-1) still managed to produce a blowout win.
Beavers coach John Guiliano said his team’s preparation and hard work in practice enabled Beavercreek to find some openings.
“We’ve been practicing pretty hard and working on getting things done correctly,” Guiliano said. “We were working on spacing today, which helped. With the 4-4-2 that they ran, they had seven and sometimes eight guys in the box. So we had to get the ball outside and then work on our crossing passes. So that was a big thing tonight for us.”
The two Greater Western Ohio Conference teams played pretty even in the early going, with Beavercreek unable to find a crack in the Skyhawks’ defense. But at the 25:18 mark, senior midfielder Vince Young bounced a left-to-right shot into the right side of the Fairborn’s goal for the first score.
Beavercreek continued its pressure and, roughly two minutes later, Dominic Calabrese drove deep into the right side of Fairborn’s territory, dished off a nice crossing pass to Young who scored yet again to give the Beavers a 2-0 lead.
Sophomore midfielder Mark Rzecznik scored off Jonah Ackerson’s right-side corner kick to give the Beavers a 3-0 lead with 15:44 left to play in the half, then senior midfielder Noah Pfaffenbichler launched a long pass to the front of the goal where Evan DeWine deflected the ball in to give BHS a 4-0 lead with 12 minutes still to play in the opening half.
With five minutes left in the first half, senior Preston Casey launched a high shot try from about 45 yards out that ducked in just under the Fairborn crossbar for a score. Young then recorded his third goal of the night off quick give-and-go passes from Calabrese and two other Beaver teammates with just under two minutes left in the half for the 6-0 lead.
While much of the second-half action was contested in Fairborn territory, neither team could manage a score until the closing minutes of the match. That’s when DeWine scored at the 2:49 mark for the final tally.
“They’re fifth in the state, they have a very deep roster, and they have a lot of talented players. So, we knew this was going to be a tough one for us,” Fairborn coach Greg Dierker said. “For the last two years, we played them to 1-0 and 2-0 matches in really hard battles that we were fortunate to stay in the game both times. …. I guess they didn’t like that at all.
“We were trying to do the same thing, to pack it in defensively. But they were able to run the corner, and they had some big goals in the first half. In the second half, we just said ‘Okay, boys. Let’s go play. We’re no longer gonna pack it in,’ and I think we played better that way. But Beavercreek is a very good team.”
Senior Ben Dutton recorded the shutout in goal with two saves.
The win was Beavercreek’s ninth shutout in 12 games. It’s the team’s third shutout in its last four matches. With the sectional tournament seeding meetings scheduled for this weekend, Guiliano said he was hoping his club could manage a top seed.
Both teams return to action Thursday, with Beavercreek hosting Cincinnati Elder while Fairborn plays at Piqua.
Fairborn remains in the hunt for the GWOC American South division crown, with some help. As Dierker explains it, should Xenia lose at Vandalia Butler on Saturday, the scenario could play out to where the Skyhawks (2-3-3 in the American South) and Buccaneers (3-3-0 American South) would likely play for the division title Tuesday, Oct. 11 in Fairborn.