JAMESTOWN — Tuesday’s high school girls soccer match between Xenia Christian and Greeneview started as a blowout and ended as a nail biter.
The Rams held on to win 5-4, Tuesday night at Don Nock Field.
Greeneview senior Emily Rinehart found junior Sydnie Sonneman for the opening goal of the match. Sabrina Saunders made a nice pass through the Ambassador defense to Sonneman for her second goal. Sonneman then found the back of the net for a hat trick.
And all of that happened in the first 5:42 of the match.
The Rams were able to put continuous pressure on Xenia Christian early. With 29:33 left in the first half, Sonneman got way up to head the ball in for her fourth goal of the game. Kylie Vipperman was credited with the assist.
Ten minutes later Hailee Brown scored to put the Rams up 5-0.
Xenia Christian junior Rachel Sweeney put the Ambassadors on the board with 6:07 left in the half.
Xenia Christian Assistant coach Candice Dixon, who was filling in for head coach Jerry Graver, said that the team wasn’t communicating early.
“We weren’t playing very well as a team in the first half. It wasn’t pretty at all. We were letting passes go through, we weren’t being aggressive, we weren’t playing as a team,” she said. “I just told them at half time that we have to talk to each other and help each other out.”
The Ambassadors turned things around in the second half. Ten minutes into the half, Katie Riddle ran down a through pass to get a good look at the goal. She scored to make it 5-2.
Greeneview coach Shawn Brown talked about how Xenia Christian slowly regained confidence.
“I’ve got to give Xenia Christian a lot of credit. They didn’t give up. They kept playing. They squeaked that one by us in the first half that ended up being a big one for them. It kept their hopes alive,” he said.
With 16:52 left in the match, Sweeney put a free kick from 25 yards out into the net. The ball just soared over the head of Greeneview keeper Brooke Eakle.
Sweeney made a nice pass to Riddle who scored to pull Xenia Christian within one with 7:30 left in the game.
The Ambassadors had a few good looks to tie, but Greeneview made the stops necessary to come out with the win.
Sonneman said that she tried to get the team back into the game while the Ambassadors were rallying.
“I was just ready to play in the beginning. We just kind of gave up in the second half. I try to talk a lot in the field to keep the team focused. I tell them what they’re doing good,” she said.
Xenia Christian (1-3) is scheduled to play Springfield Northeastern at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Northeastern High School. Greeneview (4-1) will play West Liberty Salem at 5:30 p.m. Thursday on the road.
Rams blow out Stivers
The Greeneview boys defeated Dayton Stivers 11-0 after the girls game. The Rams had seven goals in the first half. Greeneview coach Bob Eakins said that Stivers fought hard despite the score.
“At no point did they show any quit. That’s a lot of heart. Those kids played hard,” he said.
Eakins said his team was focused on not letting up, even with the big lead.
“These guys take pride in that zero. Whether it’s 10-0 or 1-0, they want to stop the ball. I appreciate that.”
Greeneview (4-0) is the top ranked Division III school according to a recent Miami Valley coaches poll. The team is no. 9 in the state according to Eakins. Their next game is at 7 p.m., Thursday at West Liberty-Salem.
Reach Zach Gregory at (937) 372-4444, Ext 2124.