BEAVERCREEK — A rematch to open OHSAA sectional play on Monday for the Beavercreek girls soccer team finished as smoothly as the first meeting.
Beavercreek wore down a Springfield side which had few substitutes available and won its opening match in the state tournament 8-0.
“It’s always good to get the first one under your belt,” said head coach Steve Popp. “You can’t take any tournament game for granted. There’s going to be upset somewhere around the state and you always hope you’re not one of them.”
Beavercreek won the regular season matchup between the two teams 8-1 on the road, its previous largest margin of victory this season. But despite tying its season-high in goals, this one didn’t start out as comfortably to get to that point.
While controlling possession for much of the first half, the Beavers couldn’t find the net until closer to halftime.
Alea Cook finally got her squad on the scoreboard with just under 15 minutes remaining in the half. Finding the ball right at her feet after a misplay by Springfield, she was able to dribble in from head-on, turned left and booted it back across the net past the busy goalkeeper for the Wildcats. But a 1-0 lead is all the Beavers could muster.
“They put a lot of pressure on the goalkeeper, and that was the difference in the first half was their goalkeeper was outstanding,” Popp said. “We just got one past her. At halftime we just said ‘hey, there’s a quality goalkeeper out there. And what beats a quality goalkeeper is quality shots.””
The Beavers appeared to be a bit frustrated by the lack of goals despite a 25-0 shot advantage, but didn’t have to feel that way when the second half got underway.
Tianna Johnson quickly got Beavercreek on the board by scoring less than 90 seconds into the period. Then, Ashley Vaughn headed in a corner kick just over 90 seconds later after Shelbi Moore sent one into the box. And a minute after that, Moore sent a free kick which Johnson headed uncontested into the bottom left corner to make it 4-0 and officially open the floodgates.
“They weren’t happy with the overall play,” Popp said of his squad during the halftime break. “They were controlling the game, but couldn’t get the separation. You want to get that separation in a tournament game, and with all the shots that we had we felt like we should’ve. At halftime, it was anybody’s game at 1-0 and until we got two, three and four, we weren’t getting a better feel of being in control and being able to play our game.”
Johnson ended up with a hat trick to lead Beavercreek. She had previously scored three goals all season. Amber Gutterman also scored twice and Moore had two assists.
Beavercreek’s next tournament match is on Thursday when it hosts West Carrollton.
Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.