FAIRBORN — Sometimes coupons are produced to buy nine of something and get a 10th for free.
For the Fairborn girls soccer team, its get nine goals scored and then work on header skills in order to reach double digits.
“Our mentality or the rule set up is we play a team and it’s 9-0, the 10th has to be a header and then after that we just will control the ball,” head coach Nghi Bui said.
Ideas to keep interest up in improving fundamentals during a lopsided match is just one thing on Bui’s mind for his squad this season.
The Skyhawks had no issues in defeating West Carrollton 10-0 at home on Wednesday by netting eight in the first half. It allowed the second half to be focused on a mindset of how to control the action on the pitch, all done while exchanging smiles and laughs with a relaxed attitude on the sidelines.
“You want to practice ball movement for our next game,” Bui said. “We’re practicing our offensive sets and with an [opponent] like this, you get a couple goals to feel better and the girls got more relaxed.”
Fairborn has now compiled a 3-0-3 record after Wednesday’s victory. It played a front loaded schedule of tough opposition that has led to getting more a breather in its last few matches. It meant players needed to quickly establishment themselves though in new roles in order to replace those who were relied upon last season, such as the MVL’s player of the year and leading point scorer Erin Thomas.
One player Bui is pleased to see step up as Thomas’ replacement at the top of the attack is Riley Krall. She played centerback last year and recently had a two goal, two assist performance in a win at Greenville.
“At the number nine and 10 position she’s been assisting the storm,” Bui said. “It’s helping our offense out because we lost a lot of it from last year.”
Numerous players joined in on Wednesday to get in on the scoring. Brooklyn Anderson, Emily Baumgardner, Ella Bowman, Kellsie Cleaves, Gracie Heider, Emma Krall and Stephanie Parrish all found the net before Ava Williams headed in the 10th goal of the match with 16:20 remaining.
It’s the defensive side of the ball however which Bui is thinking about the most when facing the tougher opponents.
Fairborn allowed 10 goals its opening two losses to Northmont and Sidney, but has only let four slip in since then. Wednesday’s shutout was the team’s first of the season.
Bui said it’s good to keep in mind how the team is playing in the moment so it’s known what to work on as a match plays out.
Against West Carrollton it was keeping things simple and moving the ball well. Bui said he hopes those situations help out when tougher challenges arise again.
“When we play the tougher teams, we’re going to play defensively and not spread out our players,” he said. “We want to shorten the field and not give them any time.”
The newest set of tests are upcoming with non-league contests at Franklin and Dayton Christian, along with a home match against Troy, to show how much the Skyhawks have soaked in during recent wins.
Fairborn will get to see how it has progressed as a unit now that it has settled in to the season.
“It’s going to be the difficult part of this year in this midseason run,” Bui said.