By John Bombatch
BELLBROOK — Maybe the Bellbrook Golden Eagles just needed to come home.
With continuous offensive pressure, the Bellbrook Golden Eagles looked plenty ready for next week’s Southwestern Buckeye League, Southwestern Division battle with co-leading Monroe.
“On the basis of how things are right now, that match is going to be for the league title,” Bellbrook coach Kevin Terrell said. “We’re starting to come around a bit now. We lost to a good Alter team on Saturday, then we came out here and played a great first half, which was what I wanted to see. Tomorrow, we’ll start preparing for Monroe.”
Bellbrook (6-4-1, 6-1-1 SWBL Southwestern) rolled out to an 8-0 lead in the first 38 minutes of Tuesday’s, Sept. 27 contest with Franklin, and claimed an eventual 11-1 win at Miami Valley South Stadium.
Senior midfielder Dalton Smith had turned in a hat trick in the first half alone, while Alex Moore had a pair of goals. Jacob Huelsman, Michael Owusu, Drew Klepacz and Adam Galle each scored a goal as well.
And that was just in the first half.
Franklin’s only scorer — junior forward/midfielder Matt Schneider — scored for the Wildcats in the 29th minute to put Franklin on the scoreboard, but Huelsman then knocked in his goal to make it 9-1 at the break.
In the second half with a constantly running clock, Bellbrook’s Rutger Marien and Adam Keefer added solo goals for the match’s final margin.
Of the three goals winless Franklin (0-12-0, 0-8-0 SWBL Southwestern) has scored this year, Schneider scored each of them. The Wildcats have now been outscored 58-3 this season.
Wildcat coach Brian Smiley has a very youthful team. He knows they’re taking their lumps now for what could be a promising future in the years ahead.
“We’re starting seven players who are either freshmen or are playing for the first year for us, including our goalkeepers that really haven’t played before at the high school level,” Smiley said. “But we have a lot of grit and we never give up. We do show a lot of heart. You can’t teach experience. We just have to get out on the field, and stay out on the field. No matter what.”
Smiley has seen both Bellbrook and co-leader Monroe twice each this season. He said that with Bellbrook returning some previously injured players to its lineup, he gives the edge to the Golden Eagles for Tuesday’s Oct. 4 contest.
“It’ll be close, and Monroe’s always tough at home, but I see Bellbrook coming away with a 2-goal win,” he said.
Tuesday’s Sept. 27 contest was Bellbrook’s first home match since a big 3-0 home win over Monroe on Sept. 15. In their two previous road games, the Golden Eagles had played to a scoreless tie in Germantown against Valley View, and they lost a close 3-2 decision Saturday, Sept. 24 at Kettering Alter.
“We want to engage and come out quick and execute whenever we have opportunities, and that gets us into a better flow for the game,” Terrell said. “We did that really well tonight — probably the best we’ve done that all season — and we’ll need to do that nest week against Monroe.”
Three Bellbrook goaltenders spent time in goal for the Golden Eagles. Caleb Cargill tended to the goal in the first half, while Caleb McConnell and Jared Zacharias shared time in the nets in the second half.
According to the school’s web page, Bellbrook has claimed an SWBL division title for 24 years dating back to 1992.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.