By John Bombatch
XENIA — After 80 minutes of action, the Greeneview and Legacy Christian Academy coaches both came off the Athletes In Action soccer field feeling as if they’d just won. In fact, neither team did.
Visiting Greeneview and host Legacy Christian (formerly Xenia Christian) played to a 0-0 tie, Tuesday night at AIA. The majority of the game may have had the Rams on the attack, but Legacy’s defense kept Greeneview from knocking in a score.
“I’m really proud of my girls,” first-year Legacy Christian coach Candice Dixon said. “We came into this match knowing that Greeneview was a really tough team, and we were nervous about it. I told my girls just to play their hearts out. Our defense really won the game for us. … That’s what won us …. or tied us this game.”
Dixon specifically mentioned senior Victoria Howarah and senior goalie Lauren Simmons for solid defensive play, but Rachel Sweeney, Caitlin Erlandson, Tori Shi. Halicie Oliver, Emily Riddle and others each came up with a stop or two to help keep the Rams scoreless.
Unofficially, Greeneview had six shots on goal to one for Legacy Christian. Most of the match was contested on Legacy’s side of the field. Greeneview also led 3-1 in corner kicks, but again couldn’t convert any of those tries.
“I’ve gotta give (Legacy Christian) a lot of credit,” Greeneview coach Shawn Brown said. “They kept us from penetrating in the box. We put a lot of pressure on them and they held up under that pressure. A lot of the credit should go to them.”
The Rams played solid defense of their own. Grace Nolen, Kelsey Faris, Kaitlyn Hinkle, Hailee Brown, Sabrina Saunders, Reannah Hilderbrandt, Hannah Ferrell, goalie Brooke Eakle and others came up with defensive stops for Greeneview.
“The girls worked real hard. I’m not feeling bad after this tie,” Brown said. “As young as we are, this isn’t totally unexpected. And overall, I’m happy with the way they played.”
Greeneview lists 23 players on its roster. Thirteen of those are freshmen.
One of those freshmen — Faith Rutherford — was being tended to for a possible concussion after the game. Rutherford took a kicked ball to the top of her head from very close range with roughly two minutes left in the contest. She was helped off the field and did not return to play.
“Olivia Maxwell gave Legacy some pressure up front, but our forwards (Rutherford and Hailee Brown) had it tough because Legacy packed the middle in with five players. So our girls didn’t do too bad against that kind of defensive pressure,” Brown said.
Greeneview is now 1-1-1 this season. They’ll next play Thursday against Ohio Heritage Conference foe Mechanicsburg.
Legacy Christian goes to 1-2-2. They return to action next Tuesday with a match against Fayetteville-Perry.
John Bombatch can be reached at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.