BEAVERCREEK — A season ago, Columbus St. Charles provided the only two losing blemishes to the Beavercreek boys high school soccer program’s schedule.
On Saturday, the two teams played to a 1-all tie on Frank Zink Field.
St. Charles ended Beavercreek’s 2016 campaign with a 2-1 win at Xenia’s Doug Adams Stadium in the Division I state semifinal match. The Cardinals, who had beaten Beavercreek by a 3-1 count in Columbus during the ‘16 regular season, then lost by the same score to eventual state champ Cleveland St. Ignatius.
With memories of the last two matchups between St. Charles (4-1-1) and Beavercreek fresh in both school’s minds, Saturday’s match promised to be intense.
The match didn’t disappoint.
“We knew today was going to be a good test for us to find out exactly where we were. I think we learned. That’s exactly why we play these games,” Beavercreek coach John Guiliano said.
According to the veteran coach, the Beavers learned how to mark their opponents better on St. Charles’ set plays.
“We lost the one kid who was setting behind a wall down there, and we should’ve had somebody behind him,” he said of St. Charles’ only score, with 8:58 left in the first half. “That was my fault.”
Cardinals senior captain Ian Smith got the pass, then drove to his right before knocking in a right-to-left shot for the score.
Beavercreek (4-0-2) had held the lead up to that point. Twenty two minutes into the half, co-captain Daniel Donohue fired a shot that bounced off the St. Charles goal’s crossbar, but Beavers senior midfielder Ryan Cameron was perched on the right side to score on the rebound.
Throughout the scoreless second haqlf, whenever one of the teams appeared to mount an offensive attack, the other team’s defender was there to poke the ball away. St. Charles’ defenders had a talent at having one player chip at the ball while a ‘Creek player had it, only to have a second Cardinal defender jump in to take over possession.
“It seemed like a back-n-forth kind of game. Hats off to them. They were great hosts, and it’s a tough stadium to play in, because their fans are great. Beavercreek is extremely physical, extremely talented. I’m sure we’ll see them again later on in the season, if we’re lucky enough to get that far in the post season,” said St. Charles coach Chris Vanou. “I think we will be.”
Beavercreek is back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 12 when they’ll host Greene County foe Bellbrook for a 7 p.m. non-league match. The Beavers will then return to Greater Western Ohio Conference action on Saturday, Sept. 16 when they’ll host National East division foe Springfield for a 7 p.m. contest.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.