By John Bombatch
YELLOW SPRINGS — Bulldogs coach Ben VanAusdal felt a bit guilty for the final outcome of Thursday night’s Senior Night boys soccer match at Yellow Springs High School.
His senior-laden bunch had just dismantled Springfield Emmanuel Christian 12-0, and they were trying to score more goals as time ran out. But this late in the season, and with some of his seniors having never scored a varsity goal in competition, the veteran coach was in a tough spot.
He wanted his seniors to enjoy the match, but he also didn’t want to show up the Lions.
“I tried to play most of my seniors. And in the second half, I used a lot of seniors who don’t always get a lot of playing time. I knew that Emmanuel Christian was working hard and that they have a good coach. I tried getting my seniors some playing time, who don’t usually play that often.
“To not have the boys score, it’s sometimes hard, especially if they’d never scored in a high school match before. So that’s what I did.”
Seven of the Bulldogs’ dozen goals were scored by seniors.
Yellow Springs co-captain and leading scorer Joe Plumer led the way with the first two goals of the first half and the first two goals of the second half, for four goals in all. Landon Rhoads scored a goal in each half, c0-captain Hayden Orme knocked in a second-half goal, and Tristan Giardullo also put in a senior score.
Juniors Roger Mejia and Fisher Lewis both had first-half goals for the Bulldogs, as did freshman forward Drevin Roberts. Sophomore fullback Andrew Clark scored the only non-senior score of the second half.
Yellow Springs climbs to 8-4 this season and has a non-league match just outside Newark against Granville Christian Academy today.
Emmanuel Christian remains winless at 0-12, but coach Jeremy Hudson said he didn’t feel it was a matter of the Bulldogs intentionally trying to run up the score against his team.
“This late in the season, you’re starting to get your team ready for post-season play, I’ve been there where we’ve had some strong seasons. At this point, you don’t want to tell your players to take your foot off the gas. I did appreciate that towards the end they were working on their ball control. … They’re just a really good team, and it was really great to come out and play against them.”
Lions senior goalkeeper George Fadley might’ve been making acrobatic saves in his sleep last night after this match. Were it not for the senior’s efforts, the score could’ve easily been doubled. Unofficially, Fadley recorded 15 saves, intercepted seven passes before a Bulldog could get off a shot, and deflected at least two other shots away from the goal.
“George has actually been on this team for five years now. He played for us (as an eighth grader) when we were at the club level,” Hudson explained. “He’s been the backbone of this team for those years. The thing that really makes him a rock-solid goalkeeper, I think, is his determination not to let his team down. He knows there will be times when he’s out there on an island, but he’s the kind of guy who would throw himself out in front of a train for his teammates.”
The Lions return to action at noon on Saturday when they’ll host New Paris Graham.