FAIRBORN — The Fairborn Skyhawks couldn’t keep up with the intensity of the Miamisburg Vikings during Thursday night’s Sept. 26 varsity boys soccer match, as the faster Miamisburg defense earned the Vikings a 3-0 shutout win against Fairborn.
The game was hard fought, however, as Miamisburg’s high rate of possession helped them barely scrape three goals past the Fairborn keeper.
In the game’s 14th minute, Collin Lovett of Miamisburg drove up the left side, beat the defender to center the ball, and sent it into the opposite post past the outstretched arms of Fairborn goalie Zach Gillman. After this goal, the Vikings gained momentum, pushing the Skyhawks back into their own territory. The Vikings led 1-0 at the half.
Moving into the game’s second half, the Vikings held a strong possession game, able to string five or six precise passes together before the Skyhawks cleared the ball. During the second half, Gillman executed a few remarkable, almost cinematic saves, including one off of a penalty kick by Miamisburg captain Alex Ball in the 14th minute. With 17 minutes remaining, Gillman made another point blank save in the middle of a tussle of blue and white players inside the box. Miamisburg’s second goal came after the ball ricocheted off the crossbar. Gillman was able to knock it away, but the ball had already passed the goal line to put Miamisburg up 2-0. With 14 minutes remaining, Miamisburg’s Gavin Morningstar was able to center the ball down the field for Alex Ball to take a shot. The ball bounced off the right post and ricocheted into the net.
Throughout the rest of the half, Miamisburg’s defenders, including Graham Gilkison, Jack Toadvine, and Noah Hardacre consistently took possession from the Skyhawks for the shutout.
“This was a nice bounce back for us,” says Miamisburg coach Matt Sunderman. “We’ve gone through a roller coaster the last three or four games. We were happy with the energy and the way we played. The guys were real positive coming in, moved the ball well and stayed positive through the game.”
Despite the loss for his Skyhawks, coach Greg Dierker was confident this could be a positive learning experience for his team as they approach the tail end of their season.
“I thought the boys played hard. Miamisburg is a top team, they’ve got the number 1, number 3 and number 5 scorers in GWOC out there. We had a couple chances, we knew we were going to get outshot. We just wanted to stay in the game, and I think we succeeded,” Dierker said. “Two of their balls hit the post and went in, one hit the crossbar and went in, all three weren’t in by much. We knew we were underdogs, we’re just happy the boys came out and battled.”
Fairborn’s record stands at 4-7-2 going into the remaining three games of the season. The Skyhawks host Butler for their next match, a 7:15 p.m. match on Tuesday, Oct. 1. Miamisburg’s record currently stands at 7-5-1. The Vikings head to Dayton to take on Chaminade-Julienne for a 2 p.m. game at Saturday, Sept. 28.
London Bishop is a freelance sportswriter for Greene County News.