XENIA — Host Xenia Legacy Christian’s team speed and accurate passing, combined with a fast Athletes In Action Sports Complex artificial turf field, proved to be the winning combination in Tuesday’s Sept. 19 win over league foe Yellow Springs.
Legacy Christian scored three goals early, while the visiting Bulldogs were still getting acclimated to the fast track, and cruised to an 8-0 Metro Buckeye Conference win. Caitlin Erlundson and Maddy Combs each scored twice for the Knights; Abby Harmon, Tabitha Moser, Halacie Oliver and Olivia Combs also scored goals for the Knights (3-4-2 overall, 1-1-2 in the MBC).
“We really got the passing down pretty well tonight,” said Legacy Christian coach Celeste Davis. “Our team chemistry has been really good this year, and I think it shows a lot in our passing.”
Yellow Springs (1-7, 0-3 MBC) plays its home matches on grass, with the width of the field being that of a football field. Early on, the Bulldogs instinctively played within the AIA football field’s boundary lines when the soccer field dimensions where roughly 8-10 yards wider on either side and marked in blue on the turf.
The first three LCA goals were the result of Knights players driving outside, between the football field boundary and the actual soccer field boundary, crossing a pass near the front of the Bulldog goal, then having a teammate blast a shot into the nets for a score. Maddy Combs scored the first goal, then Caitlin Erlundson scored the next two for Legacy Christian to give the Knights a 3-0 lead in the first 8:52 of the game.
Yellow Springs did a nice job of fending off several Knights scoring drives, until Tabitha Moser’s shot slipped out of the Bulldog goalkeeper’s gloves and trickled into the goal, giving Legacy a 4-0 lead with 4:32 left in the half.
Almost four minutes into the second half, Legacy went on another scoring binge.
First Olivia Combs scored from close range at the 36:17 mark, then it was either Oliver or Maddie Combs who scored the Knight’s sixth goal with the other scoring the seventh. Harmon then knocked in the final Knights tally midway through the second half.
Yellow Springs played LCA pretty evenly the rest of the way, with solid defensive plays from Amani Wagner, Madison Werner, Hanefah Jones, Marian Krier and Aryn VanAusdal. Bulldogs coach Bill Houchins said the faster artificial turf field was a factor.
“Our team plays fairly well,” he said. “It was a loss today on a playing surface that is relatively quick. We’re used to playing on a grass surface, … our skill level is not quite where it needs to be on turf. But as far as their overall performance, I think we played well.”
Legacy Christian will be back on the speedy AIA surface for a 5 p.m. home match Thursday, Sept. 21 against Metro Buckeye Conference foe Middletown Christian.
Yellow Springs’ next contest will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22 on its grass field for a non-league match with West Carrollton.