BEAVERCREEK — Even though it’s a corner kick play teams constantly work on over and over again in practice, it rarely works quite as well as it did in Friday night’s girls varsity soccer season opener.
Defending Division I state champion Beavercreek earned its first corner kick of the game, roughly nine minutes into the second half. Senior defender Kaleigh Nuessgen blasted the corner kick from the left side and placed it right in front of the goal, where co-captain Diana Benigno never let the ball hit the ground before placing a hard kick into the left side of the goal.
It turned out to the only goal Beavercreek needed in a 1-0 win over visiting Dublin Jerome.
“On that corner kick that we scored on, Kaileigh sent a nice kick in and Diana found some space and just put in a nice volley,” Beavers head coach Steve Popp said. “Sometimes that restart from the corner or a free kick is all you need to get by, and that’s what we needed tonight.”
Beavercreek withstood a series of second-half Jerome drives before time expired. Senior goalie Mariah Crawford earned the shutout win.
Popp said the win was good for a season opener, but said there’s still plenty for his team to improve upon.
“We started slow. And about halfway through the first half, we started playing a bit better,” Popp said. “But then by the start of the second half, we really started to get into our game. We had better control, better pressure going forward, and we had better numbers going forward as well.”
Across the way, Dublin Jerome coach Kelly Brothers felt pretty good about her team’s effort despite the road loss.
“I’m proud of our team, and I thought we did a really good job,” Brothers said. “It’s the first game of the season and we have a lot to work on, … we have a lot of new players on this team this year. We’re old, but we’re still new, and Beavercreek is always a great team to play. They served as a great measuring stick to let us see where we are at this point, and to learn just what we still have to improve on.”
Beavercreek defeated Dublin Jerome, 4-1, on the road to claim its first of 24 straight victories in their state championship winning season. They haven’t lost a match since Oct. 26, 2017.
They’ll have another good test for their next game. The Beavers head to Central Ohio to take on Hilliard Bradley for a 7 p.m. contest on Monday, Aug. 19.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.