CLAYTON — Northmont hosted No. 2 ranked Beavercreek Wednesday night and the Lady Beavers demonstrated why they are one of the area’s top ranked teams.
Less than two minutes into the match Meredith Magee nailed a solid kick to put Beavercreek up 1-0 at the 38:37 mark. Four minutes later the score increased 2-0 on a goal by Taylor Harlow.
The half ended without another score, but it was clear the Lady Beavers had far superior ball handling and passing skills than their hosts. Coach Steve Popp credits that to his players dedication.
“We are just fortunate to have players that work really hard,” Popp said. “They train really hard during our sessions to prepare for games and we just try to stay really organized as a group by putting all those elements together. By working hard our players have been able to put together some pretty solid teams.”
Freshman forward Marcella Cash serves as the place kicker for the Beavercreek varsity football team; a pretty impressive feat for a girl, especially a freshman.
“I’m not sure, I would have to double check, but I think she has made every extra-point attempt this year, 15 for 15,” Popp grinned. “She is just a good athlete obviously by being able to do that. We’ve got a lot of players that are good athletically and that helps us as well.”
Indeed, Beavercreek’s athleticism enabled the Lady Beavers to keep the ball in Northmont’s half of the field the majority of the match with several shots taken on goal.
Northmont’s freshman goalkeeper Taylor Pritchett did a good job holding off Beavercreek but suffered a game-ending injury making a save in the first half. She cradled a shot and got kicked in the shoulder by a Beavercreek player while lying on the ground, which should have resulted in a red card but the call was overlooked by the field official.
Beavercreek tacked on two more goals in the second half. With 35:25 remaining Benigno made it 3-0 and with 7:58 left Marcella Cash made it 4-0.
With the victory Beavercreek improved to 5-2-2 overall and 4-1-1 in conference play while Northmont slipped to 4-4-1 and 2-3-0.
“You know what you are going to get when you play Beavercreek. It’s never an easy game,” said Northmont Coach Ted Mergler. “We tried to put ourselves in position to stack up well against them, but the bottom line is that they are just faster at transition switching from defense to offense and offense to defense. They get organized very quickly and they are very physical. We are a younger team so we are still trying to learn that aspect of the game and we just aren’t quite able to match up with some of these teams that have more seniority and experience at this level.”
Maddy Abner (left) battles Taylor Ulrich for control of the ball. Beavercreek defenders Kira Hohne (14) and Taylor Harlow.
Abigail Spirk launches an indirect kick over Beavercreek players Taylor Ulrich (15), Kiley Guilmain (6) and Abby Applin.
Emily Howard tries to fight past Beavercreek players Marissa Ashbrook (5) and Diana Benigno.
Meredith Magee tries to keep the ball in play under defensive pressure from McKenzie Stefanoff.
Emily Howard collides with Taylor Ulrich (15) battling for a loose ball.
Ron Nunnari can be reached at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind