BEAVERCREEK — Beavercreek and Northmont both came into Tuesday’s matchup on lengthy unbeaten streaks.
Neither had to see those streaks end, but a cohesive second half effort by the Beavers made sure it wasn’t their team taking the loss.
Both teams in the top half of the Greater Western Ohio Conference standings battled one another with strong efforts all night and saw the Beavers prevail 4-1 after three late goals.
Beavercreek reached its fifth straight win by getting multiple players involved on offense, showcasing the balanced effort the team has been using this season to get contributions from as many players as able.
“I just tell the guys to play for each other,” said Beavercreek head coach Jason Guiliano. “Don’t worry about playing for the fans or your parents while you’re out there or the coaching staff, just play for each other. Togetherness is just kind of a mindset we’ve built on throughout the year and these guys just keep carrying it on.”
Tied at one with 15 minutes remaining, junior John Sutton sent a cross near goal from left of the box. It landed directly at senior Isaiah Rodriguez who calmly headed it into the right part of the goal to give his team a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Less than 90 seconds later, junior Max Albrecht, the team’s leading scorer, added on to the lead after dribbling by his defender north of the box and firing a bouncing shot into the lower left corner for a two-goal advantage.
A fourth goal with just under seven minutes left put the match away after a scramble in front of the net saw senior Evan Barnett score while falling forward.
“When we gave up the [tying] goal, I feel like it kind of woke us up a little bit,” Guiliano said. “Guys began to play with a little sense of urgency. Obviously Senior Night is a big night because you want to win that game.”
And on Senior Night, the 11 players which make up the 19-man roster for Beavercreek were honored before the game.
While Guiliano said Senior Night is always a big night to get a win, it was good to see all of them stay involved in some way with more than half of the team’s roster made up of seniors.
“It’s not just the guys that we see playing the minutes, but the others that aren’t getting as many are there to be encouraging for everybody else on the team,” Guiliano said. “It was great to see Evan Barnett score a goal tonight.”
The match saw both sides maintain a healthy attack throughout both halves to keep the defenses on its toes.
Beavercreek scored midway through the first half when a senior stepped up.
A cross from left of the net soared over the majority of the crowd gathered in front of the net. As the ball just sailed over junior Tyler Araujo’s leaping attempt at a header, senior Michael Wynn found himself in the correct spot and placed it into the left side of the net with the Northmont goalkeeper out of position to give his team the lead.
It was Wynn’s first points and goal of the season.
Northmont tied it early in the second half and made Beavercreek work to regain its lead before the Beavers’ attack overwhelmed its defense.
The Beavers entered the night running up a six-match unbeaten run and closed out the home portion of the schedule winning all eight games.
Beavercreek has allowed four total goals in its 10 wins this season, and has outscored the opposition 18-2 during its current five-game win streak.
Both sides came in ranked in the top-10 of local Division I schools in the latest MVSSCA poll. Beavercreek was ranked No. 3, with Northmont at No. 6.
The reserve game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Beavercreek next travels to Vandalia-Butler on Saturday for an out of league match at 11 a.m. The team will be hoping for another chance at a home game when the OHSAA tournament draw is held on Sunday.
“We’re definitely preparing,” Guiliano said. “You always want to try to be playing your best soccer as you get into the tournament because at that point one game you win, you go on. One game you lose, you stay at home. You definitely want to try to peak at that right time, so you use the back half of these last couple of games to work on that peak and be ready for a tournament.”
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.