XENIA — Billed as “Friday Night Futbol,” the Xenia High School boys and girls varsity soccer programs opened their respective Fall seasons, Aug. 17 at Doug Adams Stadium, with a pair of games against the Mustangs of Lynchburg Clay.
The girls teams squared off in the opener, and both showed perhaps a bit of rust in the early going.
First, it was Xenia’s defense that appeared perhaps a bit slow from the offseason. The Buccaneers allowed Kaylee Lunsford to race around the right wing for a score from about 15 yards out, all in the match’s opening minute.
Mustangs teammate Sierra Benney then dished off to Belle Brinkman for a score barely six minutes into the match to put Lynchburg Clay out in front, 2-0 in the first half.
But perhaps those two quick goals were the wake up call the Buccaneers needed. Xenia soon put together a scoring binge of its own roughly three minutes later.
First, Alexis Claybaugh converted Taylor Huffman’s corner kick try into a score from roughly 20 yards out with 31 minutes left in the opening half of play.
Then, Huffman outraced the Mustangs defense along the right side and raced in for a tying score some 50 seconds later.
With 8:50 left to play in the first half, Huffman once again got free down the right side of the field. The speedy senior forward launched a right-to-left crossing shot into the Lynchburg Clay goal, but this time for what turned out to be the game winner.
“They started slow and gave up those two early goals, but we got focused soon after that,” Xenia coach Harold DeLotelle said moments after the girls match had ended. “We need to get rid of our old habits. When they play as a team, as if they were all sisters, they do well together. We didn’t do that early on, and it showed. Aside from that, I’m real pleased with this first win.
“Once they play as a team, they’ll be tough to stop. I wish the best for them all this season.”
Mustangs coach Dennis West wasn’t pleased at all with his team’s opening performance of the fall season.
“Oh, I’m so frustrated. I’ve had some of these girls for four years now. One of them (Peyton Scott) was the Southeast District Player of the Year for us last season, and others were named to various All-Southeast District teams. These girls have been to the regional tournament three years in a row! But they sure didn’t play like that tonight,” West said. “After the first six minutes of the match, that was probably the most lackadaisical effort I’ve seen from them.”
The Xenia-Lynchburg Clay boys game reached halftime just before presstime with the Buccaneer boys out in front 2-0 after a pair of goals by Jacob Cloud.
Friday night’s games were part of the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s initiative to highlight girls and boys high school soccer in Ohio. Games were held on Friday night throughout the state, since high school football hadn’t begun its season yet, allowing the soccer teams to show off their brand of “futbol.”
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.