KETTERING – Those hours practicing the same ol’ crossing play over and over again paid off nicely for the Bellbrook High School girls soccer team.
Sydney Hollingsworth drove deep into the right corner of the Fenwick zone, saw teammate Bailey Sedlak and fired a crossing shot her way. Sedlak did what she’d done many times in practice … buried the ball in the goal.
And with that, Bellbrook defeated Fenwick, 2-1 in sudden victory overtime, Oct. 23 at Fairmont High School.
Bellbrook head coach Zach Huffman huddled his team together moments after the win, and told the girls that he had good news and bad news to tell them.
“I told them the Good News is that we are playing on Saturday,” he said. “And the Bad News was …. there is no bad news.”
With that news, the team erupted in an excited cheer.
The Golden Eagles (13-4-1) came away happy, but Fenwick (9-6-2) made them work hard for the win. The Falcons appeared to have worn down the Bellbrook players for much of the second half. It wasn’t until Sedlak scored with 5:39 left in overtime that the win was assured.
After a scoreless first half, Bellbrook scored the first score of the match.
Bellbrook’s persistent offensive attack finally paid dividends four minutes into the second half when Sedlak drove into Fenwick territory before firing in a score from close range in front of the goal.
With 15 minutes left to play in the match, Fenwick co-captain Lauren Boland launched a direct kick from about 30-35 yards away and just to the right of the Golden Eagles goal. The ball sailed high over everyone, and appeared to graze the bottom part of the crossbar as it fell into the goal for a tying score.
Fenwick appeared to be on the offensive for the remainder of the second half, but neither team could muster a score in regulation.
That’s when the Hollingsworth-to-Sedlak combination moved the Golden Eagles forward in overtime.
“I looked and I saw (Sedlak) there,” Hollingsworth said. “I knew she was open.”
Sedlak said she knew the speedy Hollingsworth could get past the Fenwick defenders.
“I just wanted to be at the line and ready to be there. She played a good ball, and I just stepped back to make sure I could get a good shot off of it, had to make sure the defender didn’t get it.”
When the two teams met last season, Bellbrook won by a 1-0 score in double overtime.
“Sydney and Bailey have done a great job all season long of getting behind the defenders, getting to the baseline and just playing it back to the goal. That’s exactly how they did it this time, too,” Huffman said.
Huffman credited goalie Claire Baker with a superb job of keeping the Golden Eagles in the match.
“I couldn’t see the entire sequence, but she made two incredible saves on the same drive that really kept us in the game today. She did an amazing job for us tonight,” he said.
Still smiling, Hollingsworth and Bailey summed up how it felt to win in overtime once again over Fenwick with one word: “Amazing.”
Bellbrook now takes on either Wyoming or Batavia at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 27 at a neutral site yet to be determined.