Beavers nip ‘Bolts


By Ron Nunnari - rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com



Northmont’s Jillian Naas makes a pass past Beavercreek defender Diana Benigno, who later scored the only goal in Wednesday’s Sept. 20 girls high school soccer match in Beavercreek.


BEAVERCREEK – Clayton Northmont put up a strong defensive effort Wednesday Sept. 20 at Frank Zink Field, but lost 1-0 against a tough Beavercreek girls varsity soccer team.

The Beavers dominated play for a majority of the first half, keeping pressure on the Northmont goal with repeated shots, but goalkeeper Taylor Pritchett did a nice job holding Beavercreek scoreless.

Northmont held the upper hand early in the second half keeping the ball in Beavercreek’s half of the field. Eventually, the Beavers reversed that trend and again launched shot after shot on the Northmont goal. Sophomore midfielder Diana Benigno found the back of the net on an unassisted goal with 24:56 remaining in the match to give Beavercreek the only goal it would need to pull out a hard-fought victory.

The Thunderbolts’ defense, and especially its back line, frustrated Beavercreek for most of the night. The Beavers took 26 shots, 14 on goal while limiting Northmont to nine shots and four on goal.

With the victory, Beavercreek improved to 7-1-1 while Northmont fell to 5-3-1.

“Beavercreek is pretty stingy with the goals. They have only allowed three goals to this point in the season, so they are hard to come by,” said Northmont coach Ted Mergler. “We knew that, and we knew our chances were going to be slim, but I felt that we did create some opportunities. Our girls really did a good job tonight frustrating Beavercreek. We were organized in our backfield and, because of that, they didn’t really get that many good shots on us. When that happens, a team like that gets frustrated. Eventually they did find success. Benigno is a good player and is one of their leading scorers. I was really proud of my girls for the effort that they gave. They fought for 80 minutes tonight, but we didn’t get the result we wanted.”

Beavercreek coach Steve Popp knew his team was in for a battle and credited Northmont for its tough defensive effort.

“We had a lot of opportunities. And what I told the players at halftime was that a lot of the opportunities still weren’t that effective, because we weren’t scoring. So, we wanted to do a better job of squaring up and getting a better hit on goal,” Popp said. “Northmont’s goalkeeper played a very, very good game. There were some goals that she kept from going in that in regular matches we may have scored on. Northmont’s defense, their back four and especially their center backs, were really strong and their keeper made some good plays, so it was a really a tough game for us to score. You can have possession, you can have the shots, but when it comes down to it, it’s what is on the scoreboard and Northmont was in it the entire match. I thought they played really well.”

Northmont’s Jillian Naas makes a pass past Beavercreek defender Diana Benigno, who later scored the only goal in Wednesday’s Sept. 20 girls high school soccer match in Beavercreek.
http://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2017/09/web1_JillianNaasDianaBenigno_PS.jpgNorthmont’s Jillian Naas makes a pass past Beavercreek defender Diana Benigno, who later scored the only goal in Wednesday’s Sept. 20 girls high school soccer match in Beavercreek.

By Ron Nunnari

rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com

Contact Ron Nunnari at 937-684-9124, via email at rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind .

Contact Ron Nunnari at 937-684-9124, via email at rnunnari@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind .