JAMESTOWN—The Xenia Buccaneers boys’ soccer team advanced to 3-5-2 as they handed the Greeneview Rams their first loss (5-1-1) of the season by a score of 2-1 in a physical game at Don Nock Field.
The refs were kept busy as they called multiple penalties and handed out five yellow cards and one red one.
“This type of game is a typical game between us and it goes back years,” Greeneview coach Bob Eakins said. “Everybody is yelling about fouls and all, but I thought the game was decently officiated.”
Greeneview possessed the ball early and often in the first half. They regularly were in the offensive zone, but they could not find a way to punch in a goal.
“Our back three did a great job defending,” Xenia coach Keenan Mikal said, “but our front guys also did a good job tonight getting back to help those defenders.”
In the second half, that defense led to a breakout kick down the field that senior Zach Stefan chased down and scored to give Xenia the first goal.
Greeneview responded 4 minutes later when junior Gavin Anderson scored a header goal.
As the game progressed, Greenview’s leading point scorer, freshman Tyler Hurley, received his second yellow card with just over 10 minutes remaining resulting in him getting a red card and being banned from the remainder of the game.
“Losing him hurt,” Eakins said. “They countered and scored shortly after, because we needed to figure ourselves out with a man down.”
With momentum shifted after the penalty, Xenia senior Cameron Atkinson rushed down the field and scored the game winning goal.
“Earlier in the year when things got physical, the team was playing scared and not doing what they should,” Mikal said. “We are getting much better at handling physical games.”
Greeneview is hoping to rebound quickly after its first loss.
“We have to learn from this loss,” Eakins said. “Other teams aren’t going to give you anything and we need to learn from it and put forth a better effort.”
Greeneview will play itsnext game at home against Northwestern at 7:30 p.m., Thursday Sept 20.
Xenia will play its next game at home against Troy Christian at 7 p.m., Tuesday Sept 18.