Yellow Springs one win from regional title


By Steven Wright - [email protected]



Junior Sam Miller (18) tries to play a throw-in from his teammate while shielding off the defender.

Junior Sam Miller (18) tries to play a throw-in from his teammate while shielding off the defender.


Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

Senior Tallis Onfroy-Curley (14) leaps to head away a loose ball from his own end of the field.


Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

Yellow Springs celebrates a late goal by Eli Eyrich which helped the Bulldogs defeat Cincinnati Mariemont 3-0 in the Division III regional semifinals at Loveland HS.


Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

Yellow Springs players salute their fans which made the trip to support the Bulldogs after the match.


Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

LOVELAND — They weren’t going to let them win again.

The third time was the charm for Yellow Springs as they advanced to the Division III regional finals with a 3-0 victory against Cincinnati Mariemont on Wednesday at Loveland High School.

“One of the tings I talked with the boys and especially the seniors, I would hate to leave my last season losing to a team three times,” head coach Ben VanAusdal said. “Right after winning district they were fully focused on this team, they wanted to beat this team really bad and they did it this year.”

Mariemont eliminated Yellow Springs in the district finals the previous two seasons. It was a different story in Wednesday’s match as the Bulldogs maintained their hot streak.

Yellow Springs (19-1-2) won nine straight near the end of the season following its lone loss, and then tied its final two matches while testing themselves in a step up in competition against higher division teams. VanAusdal said he wanted to provide a glimpse at tougher competition for his team prior to the start of tournament play and it has paid off.

The Bulldogs outscored its first four tournament opponents by a combined 33-0 and continued the same path in the semifinals.

Eli Eyrich got things started with his 45th goal of the season less than seven minutes into the match. He fired off a shot from near the top-right of the 18-yard box toward the opposite corner of the net and well out of reach of the keeper for the 1-0 lead.

“I don’t worry too much about our defense,” VanAusdal said. “I tell the boys when they score first we’re going to win and they have every game.”

The Bulldogs maintained the majority of the early pressure while it gave keeper Krishan Miller a cozy view on the field with the match taking place on the opposite end.

Shortly after Mariemont started to slow things down, Yellow Springs pulled off a counter to extend its lead. Eyrich handled a pass near his own sideline’s corner and sent in a cross which only Landon Harris was near. He was able to calmly tap a ball by the rushing goalie as the rest of the Wildcat defense could only watch slowly roll its way into the net.

YS outshot Mariemont 6-2, had the only three shots on goal, a 4-1 advantage in corners and drew the only two offside calls in a dominant opening half.

Mariemont came out of the break with crisper play and tried to reverse the tide. A free kick by the Warriors with just over 16 minutes remaining sent in from just outside the box near the goal line was tapped back toward the net, but it rolled just outside of the far post as Yellow Springs maintained its lead.

Eyrich needed to be subbed off for an injury and Mariemont continues to press and keep the Bulldogs on their heels late. Once Eyrich returned with 5:30 remaining, he needed less than a minute to put the match away.

“What can you say about Eli?” VanAusdal said. “I think he’s the state’s best player.”

The regional finals will take place at 4 p.m. on Saturday at Monroe High School. Troy Christian awaits the Bulldogs after winning their semifinal match in penalty kicks. Yellow Springs won a regular season game between the two teams by a 2-1 score.

It will be the first chance at a regional championship for Yellow Springs since 2007. The school has never won a regional title.

A chance at state is just another goal left to be achieved for a group which wanted to get a district title and to finally get past a team which has been a thorn in their side.

“All the Cincinnati schools are really good,” VanAusdal said. “I tell the boys you beat a Cincinnati school and you should feel good. Winning this one today just is so sweet.”

Junior Sam Miller (18) tries to play a throw-in from his teammate while shielding off the defender.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/11/web1_CMYKeditedIMG_8732.jpgJunior Sam Miller (18) tries to play a throw-in from his teammate while shielding off the defender.Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

Senior Tallis Onfroy-Curley (14) leaps to head away a loose ball from his own end of the field.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/11/web1_CMYKeditedIMG_8735.jpgSenior Tallis Onfroy-Curley (14) leaps to head away a loose ball from his own end of the field.Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

Yellow Springs celebrates a late goal by Eli Eyrich which helped the Bulldogs defeat Cincinnati Mariemont 3-0 in the Division III regional semifinals at Loveland HS.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/11/web1_CMYKeditedIMG_8743.jpgYellow Springs celebrates a late goal by Eli Eyrich which helped the Bulldogs defeat Cincinnati Mariemont 3-0 in the Division III regional semifinals at Loveland HS. Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

Yellow Springs players salute their fans which made the trip to support the Bulldogs after the match.
https://www.xeniagazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/32/2022/11/web1_CMYKeditedIMG_8748.jpgYellow Springs players salute their fans which made the trip to support the Bulldogs after the match. Photos by Steven Wright | Greene County News

By Steven Wright

[email protected]

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.

Contact Steven Wright at 937-502-4498 and follow on Twitter @Steven_Wright_.