BELLBROOK — A stingy defense, persistent offense and plenty of game-time experience has the Bellbrook High School girls soccer team flying undefeated so far this season.
The veteran team regrouped from a close first half to defeat visiting Franklin by a 4-0 score, Sept. 26 at Bellbrook High.
Sophomore Bailey Sedlak scored the game’s only score of the first half. With not quite a minute having ticked off the game clock, Sedlak drove behind the Wildcats defense to get off a score from close range.
Despite six Bellbrook corner kick opportunities in the opening half, Sedlak’s score was the only points in the opening 40 minutes of play.
After five more Bellbrook corner kick tries to start the second half, the Golden Eagles (9-0-1, 7-0-1 in the Southwestern Buckeye League’s Southwestern Division) got on the board again with 27:43 left in the match. Senior Gabby Gerbic drove to her left, fired a nice crossing pass to the right, where junior Cassi Hennen was there to knock in the score from close in.
About four minutes later, Sedlak got her second score of the match, another unassisted score from close in and off to the right of the goal.
With 18:47 left in the contest, Jade Edwards saw a deep Bellbrook kick bounce off of a Franklin defender. The bounce was just enough to enable Edwards to slip in behind the defense, take control of the ball, and fire home a nifty left-to-right goal for the final Bellbrook tally of the night.
Huffman credits the team’s success to a quartet of four-year varsity players on his roster: Bekah Vine, Molly Spears, Cassidy Bereda and Cassidy Hofacker are each four-year starters for the Golden Eagles.
“There’s a lot of experience on this team even outside of those four girls,” Huffman said. “Three other seniors (Gabby Gerbic, Audrey Spirk and Madison Geloneck) have started for three years with us. It’s just a ton of experience and it really helps us.”
Back-up goalie Claire Baker earned Tuesday night’s shutout. She and Vine now have nine shutouts in 10 games thus far this season. The team has outscored opponents 32-1, with the lone goal coming in a 3-1 win over Germantown Valley View back on Sept. 5.
With her two goals in Tuesday’s win, Sedlak is now the team’s scoring leader with 10 goals and three assists. Spirk is next with nine goals and three assists. Both rank among the SWBL’s top-10 scorers.
Despite its undefeated record, Bellbrook is not ranked among the top 10 Division II girls teams in the state by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association just yet. The Golden Eagles are one of seven schools outside the top 10 to receive votes, however.
The Eagles claimed a district title last season, before losing to Cincinnati McNicholas in the regional semifinal round.
Bellbrook will get a regular season taste of postseason play Saturday, Sept. 30, when they’ll face the state’s No. 1 Division II team — defending state champion Kettering Alter — in the team’s next contest. That game is set for a 2 p.m. start in Kettering. The junior varsity match is set for a noon start.
“You’ve gotta play the tough teams in the postseason any how, so you might as well give yourself a good test in the middle of the season,” Huffman said. “Alter is just as strong this year, so we better be up for the challenge.”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.