FAIRBORN — Xenia girls soccer coach Jim Lamb knew why his team was shutout by Fairborn in September.
“We just didn’t finish,” he said. “I think we played them well during the season. We couldn’t score.”
The Bucs did on Thursday.
Again. And again. Six times to be exact in a shutout win at Fairborn in a Division-I sectional tournament match.
Alayna Vela scored the first of her three goals just three minutes in and by halftime it was 4-0. And with solid play by the defense and in goal by Grace Turner in goal, it was more than enough for Xenia to advance to a second-round game at top-seeded Centerville Saturday.
Chloe Castonguay added a pair of goals and Tatum McIntire added one for the 13th seeded Buccaneers, who improved to 7-8-1. Mya Dyamond had three assists, while Haley Curtis added one.
No. 10 Fairborn, which hadn’t played or practiced in 10 days due to a coronavirus quarantine, finishes 8-5-2.
“It was a weird night,” Coach Keith Rentz said. “When we stepped on the field we were rusty. We were getting beat to the ball constantly. (But) no excuses there. All credit to them.”
To help create more chances, Xenia played the ball wide to pull Fairborn’s fullbacks outside and exploit the space.
“It left the middle open,” Lamb said.
That’s exactly how Vela scored her first goal as she took a long pass from Dyamond, dribbled a couple yards and fired an uncontested shot high into the back of the net. Vela’s second goal — with 11:33 left in the half — was on a similar pass from Dyamond and a similar result.
“I was just looking to score, it was open,” Vela said. “Just a wide open shot again. If the shot’s open then I take it.”
Fairborn was ready for it, but the Skyhawks could not prevent it.
“The way the first goal happened, essentially that goal was precisely the thing that we had scouted and knew we had to stop,” Rentz said. “It was a good combo play in the midfield. Our midfield got beat. It left her in space.”
In between those two goals Castonguay was the recipient of a perfect pass from Curtis, who tapped a cross from Dyamond toward far corner where Castonguay was there to knock it in with 21:52 left in the half. Castonguay made it 4-0 with 6:52 left in the half, finishing a shot from Dyamond that the Fairborn goalkeeper stopped but couldn’t control.
Vela scored her third about 10 minutes into the second half, and then McIntire dropped in a shot from about 25 yards out with 14:11 left.
Fairborn wasn’t without some opportunities. Nevaeh Manning, Stephanie Parrish, Ava Williams, and Emily Baumgardner all had quality chances in the first half.
“Grace Turner … kept us in the game early,” Lamb said. “We could be down two or three to nothing.”
Rentz knew that as well.
“I felt like we had four, five, six really good scoring opportunities that we didn’t put in or put it right to the keeper,” he said.
The Bucs were able to finish theirs, and that was the difference.