XENIA — Buccaneers head boys soccer coach Keenan Mikal learned a little bit about his team in Saturday’s 3-1 non-league win Sept. 30 over Urbana.
When the going gets tough, this bunch stays positive.
Xenia (7-6-0) jumped out to a 2-0 first-half lead, but upset minded Urbana responded with a penalty kick goal early on in the second half. Mikal knew his Bucs could’ve gotten down on themselves for giving up both the penalty and the goal. But instead, Xenia responded with a goal of its own to salt the game away.
“I just think when we gave up that penalty, it gave Urbana new life,” Mikal said. “But at least we didn’t lay an egg, we didn’t give up that second goal to them that would’ve put them right back into the contest. (Xenia) focused and got back into their game plan, and they got that third goal, which helped put things away.”
Patrick Cook scored from close range at the 8-minute mark of the first half, off a nice crossing pass from Nate Higgins, to give the Bucs an early 1-0 lead.
Then in the 34th minute, Trevor McGuiness headed in Zach Stefan’s corner kick to put Xenia up, 2-0 over the Hillclimbers.
Urbana (2-9-1) got on the scoreboard when Tate Harrigan was fouled within the Xenia box, earning a penalty kick. The senior Hillclimber scored into the right side of the Xenia goal to pull Urbana within one goal of Xenia, 2-1, with 33 minutes still to play.
Xenia goalie Alex Dye snuffed Michael Trudo’s close-range scoring try from the right side with 26 minutes left to play, and Urbana’s Kyler LeMieux stopped scoring tries from Nate Higgins (58th minute) and Logan Higgins (62nd) before Nate Higgins took a pass from Cylis McNeal for a score from the right side in the 67th minute to seal the win.
“Xenia spread us out a little bit, and they passed and moved really well,” said Urbana coach Zach Stacy. “They would get the ball to their offensive half and, they didn’t score every goal this way but, on the one they passed the ball 9-10 times before scoring.
“I think the other two goals were our fault, where we let the ball bounce around in the box and didn’t get it out. … We played well today, we just couldn’t find the goal scoring touch.”
Xenia gets back into Greater Western Ohio Conference play with a road game against West Carrollton at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 3. They’ll then play their final road game of the 2017 season at 7 p.m. Thursday Sept. 5 at Lynchburg Clay.
Urbana also plays on Tuesday, hosting Marysville.