LEBANON — Holding onto a precarious one-goal lead after one half of play, Beavercreek High School’s boys varsity soccer team exploded for three second-half goals to defeat Greater Western Ohio Conference foe Centerville, 4-1, in the Division I regional semifinal at Jim VanDeGrift Stadium.
In a steady rain, on a sometimes slick Atrium Field, Beavercreek coach John Guiliano knew a one-goal lead was nothing.
“With these conditions and everything, we moved the ball well, we played to people’s feet. The things we worked on in practice for the last couple of days were working for us, and we were able to get people open,” Guiliano said. “The goal we gave up was one of those weird things that happen in this weather. If that had happened in the second half, it might’ve changed the momentum of this game. You never know.
“But the kids are playing well right now.”
Beavercreek put the pressure on early. In the first minute of the match, the Beavers were able to launch three headers toward the Elks goal. Senior defender Daniel Donohue was able to convert on the third shot from the left side to put Beavercreek out in front 1-0 with 39:40 still left to play in the half.
The two teams failed to register another score in the first half, with the Beavers getting off several shots.
With the rain still coming down, it took roughly 13 minutes into the second half before the Beavers recorded another score. This time, it was senior midfielder Joshua Fleck who knocked in a shot from about 30 yards out.
Dominic Calabrese registered the final two Beavers goals. His first came with 25:49 left to play on an angled score from the right side of the Elk goal. Calabrese knocked in his second score of the night from close range midway through the half.
Centerville got the sloppy weather goal that it needed, but it came with nearly 14 minutes left in the match. Elks coach Jeff Monbeck said he couldn’t tell who actually scored the goal.
“It went in off several people, I think. It bounced off somebody, I don’t know who it was.” Monbeck said. “Beavercreek stormed right out of the gate and came right at us with that first goal. But even with that score, we kept it at 1-0 through the first half. We dug in, we fought, even though it wasn’t our best.
“So we come out of the locker room and one of the best players in the state (Calabrese) scores a couple magical goals. Sometimes you gotta tip your hat when those things happen.”
Monbeck was pretty sure that Beavercreek would serve as a formidable opponent against their next opponent — either St. Xavier or Anderson. The two teams were knotted up at 1-all and playing in overtime at the time.
“Beavercreek’s a great team,” he said. “They’re technical. They’re tactical. … Best of luck to them.”
The regional final will be held Saturday Nov. 4 at a time and location yet to be determined.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.