XENIA — Both the Xenia Boys and Girls varsity soccer teams took shutout victories during a doubleheader versus Legacy Christian Academy, Sept. 14 at Athletes in Action Sports Complex. The Lady Buccaneers scored 4 goals early in the game and played defensively during the second half, securing a 4-0 win. The boys team gradually wore down the Knights, scoring 5 goals by the end of the night for a 5-0 victory.
Xenia rolled out the A-team early on in the Lady Bucs game, as Alyssia, Alayna, and Alexis (Echols, Vela, and Claybaugh, respectively) each scored themselves a goal during the first half. In the last two minutes of the half, Tatum McIntire put herself on the board as well, with Claybaugh on the assist. During the second half, the Xenia defenders ruled the field. Maliah Huston led the cleanup crew stopping the Knights offensive. After leading 4-0 at the half, the Lady Buccaneers rode out their lead through the end of the match for the victory.
The boys’ varsity match started out with Legacy Christian and Xenia battling it out fairly evenly. For the first 20 minutes, neither team was able to hold an advantage. In the 23rd minute, Xenia’s Mouhamadou Seck took a corner kick that landed in a scuffle of Xenia and Legacy Christian players. Junior Ian Cushman took control of the ball and shot. Knights keeper Ty McEntyre juggled the ball away, but the ball had already passed the goal line for the Xenia score. With 6 minutes left in the half, Jordan Dyamond swept the ball into the goal a second time after junior Jake Cloud’s shot deflected off of McEntyre’s hands. The Bucs led 2-0 at the half.
At the beginning of the second half, the Bucs took a kick from a handball penalty on Legacy Christian, Cloud slamming the ball home straight down the middle of the goal line. The Bucs didn’t let up, scoring back to back goals from Cloud and junior Brycen Heim in the 18th and 19th minute of the half. After the match, coach John Bongers expressed confidence in his players’ ability to work together. “I thought it was a good night, it was a nice night for playing. I thought our guys did a really good job just combining and knocking the ball around and finishing our chances. As a group, they worked really well together and did a solid job all the way around. We’ve been stressing so far that the guys help each other and combine, and a lot of the guys did combine and score some nice goals, so kudos to the players.”
Despite the loss for the Knights, coach Parker Surls was proud of the effort that the boys displayed on the field. “It was a tough game, both teams played so hard. Really it was the fundamentals we really missed tonight. The first 20 minutes we were playing really, really well, playing clean, and then it just broke down. But honestly, I’m really happy with them, they gave 100 percent, all of them. Can’t ask for anything more.”
No one demonstrated this effort more on the field than Legacy Christian junior TJ Leugers, who regularly demonstrated hustle and heart throughout Saturday’s match. Leugers poured on the speed throughout the game, fighting for possession with Xenia’s defenders even at the end of the match, when many players on both teams were visibly flagging. Mention of Leugers drew a chuckle from coach Surls.
“TJ is one of the most dedicated players I have on my team. I could put him anywhere and he will give 100 percent, no matter where. Even if he’s in a position he doesn’t like very much, he’s willing to work as hard as he can.”
London Bishop is a freelance sportswriter for Greene County News.