By Ron Nunnari
CENTERVILLE – Beavercreek effectively shut down the Clayton Northmont soccer team’s offense Monday, Oct. 24 in Division I sectional soccer action at Magsig Middle School’s Legacy Field.
Northmont’s only score came on an own goal by the Beavers for an early 1-0 lead. A Beavercreek defender kicked the ball in the air with his back to the goal as the goalkeeper came out of the net. The ball landed on the ground with a backspin and rolled into the goal to give the Thunderbolts a 1-0 lead at 21:22 of the first half.
Nicholas Togliatti scored the Beavers’ first goal with 8:41 remaining in the half and netted a second goal at the 4:34 mark to give Beavercreek a 2-1 lead at the half.
Dominic Calabrese and Ryan Bernt tacked on additional goals at 30:31 and 11:01 respectively in the second half to give Beavercreek a 4-1 victory.
The Beavers passing skills overshadowed Northmont’s, but Beavercreek coach John Guiliano said those skills are the result of plenty of practice. He said the popularity of soccer in Beavercreek has resulted in an over abundance of youth soccer teams. By the time players reach the high school level, they lack sound fundamental skills. As a result, Guiliano said about 60 percent of his team’s practice sessions focus on passing drills.
“We had some opportunities in the first half and we should have at least put three or four away,” Guiliano said. “We’ve got good speed and good skills, but we didn’t show it in the first 20 minutes at all. I don’t know why. Maybe because of our first game with Northmont being 6-0, they weren’t concentrating, but the second half was a different story. They didn’t have any shots on goal the first time we played. They’re not bad. They just don’t have anybody that can finish for them.”
With the victory Beavercreek improved to 16-1-1 and advances to face Cincinnati St. Xavier on Thursday, Oct. 27 at Liberty Township Lakota East.
After getting off to an 0-5-1 start the Thunderbolts won eight of their last 13 games to finish 8-9-2 overall to show great improvement.
“They’ve got a good team and played a smart game and took advantage of our deficiencies,” said Northmont coach Bob Brown. “They are ranked no. 4 in the state for a reason. We played better this time, but it just wasn’t enough today.”
Brown also noted the larger population base in the southern Miami Valley and an abundance of soccer clubs also makes it hard for schools in the northern suburbs to compete with teams like Beavercreek.
“That’s part of it… the population difference and there are a lot of big schools closer while up north we are little more spread out,” Brown noted. “There are bigger clubs closer together down south too, so until we figure something out to get our guys progressing at a faster level we are rolling a rock up hill right now. It doesn’t mean we aren’t going to work and we aren’t going to quit. It would have been easy to throw it in the tank after our 0-5 start with a couple of bad losses in games we should have been in. We fought back and we were 8-3-2 in our last 13 games until today. This was a much more competitive game than the first time we faced them when it was 6-0 and could have been 9-0. I’m proud of our guys. For the first year I got lucky. I had a great group of seniors with a couple of really good leaders in the group, so I wouldn’t have changed anything. It was a good group of guys.”