XENIA — The visiting Beavercreek Beavers had Xenia outnumbered and outplayed, during Tuesday’s boys high school soccer game at Xenia’s Cox Stadium.
The playoff-caliber Battlin’ Beavers easily rolled past the Xenia Buccaneers, 8-0.
Fans expecting to show up for a traditional 7 p.m. varsity game start missed most of the first half of action. Without enough players to form a junior varsity team as late as a few weeks ago, Xenia cancelled its junior varsity contests against Greater Western Ohio Conference opponents to enable them some time to find other opponents. It was only recently that the team was able to have enough athletes to field a JV squad as well.
“We struggled to get a JV team this season. Finally, we had some guys come out of the woodwork to help us, and that was appreciated. But I think we have maybe 12 kids on JV, if that,” explained Xenia coach Keenan Mikal. “At the time, I had to make a decision in late July, getting up to August, and we had 26 kids at the time. So I asked (Athletic Director Mark Stoll) to cancel the GWOC junior varsity games. … Right now, we just don’t have enough playing experience or team depth to stay with a playoff team like Beavercreek.”
The Beavers had rolled out to a solid 4-0 lead by halftime, and just persistently added to that margin throughout the second half by substituting freely and wearing Xenia down. Beavercreek has enough student athletes in its soccer program to field a freshman team, junior varsity and a varsity squad.
“Fundamentally, we were very sound,” Beavercreek coach John Guiliano said. “We had a little bit of the jitters, with some kids starting who hadn’t started before, but otherwise it was a very good first game for us. It was a good team effort. … This is the hottest weather that we’ve had to play in, since we got started in the preseason, so we really pushed our hydration program and made sure the kids were refreshed when we got here. We came here a little bit early, with that in mind. And our conditioning is pretty decent as well. I think our depth was able to wear Xenia down.”
Beavercreek’s Josh Human scored two goals, Brad Adams, Andrew Mogga and Andrew Grinstead each had a goal scored, Jordan Morales, Tristan Lyle and Wagner Mogga each contributed with a goal and an assist, while Matt Williams, Seth Bryant, Ryan Albers and Michael Chuck each added an assist in the win.
Mikal says the lack of depth may be hurting his Buccaneers team in terms of their intensity. Realizing that they don’t have to play as hard to keep a spot in the starting lineup (because there’s nobody to take their place), the coach said some of the players don’t seem to be trying as hard as he thinks they should.
“We have guys like Nathan Brown, Conner and Adam Reichert, Nate Higgins, Zach Burman, and Blake Brown … there’s six or seven guys out here who played their hardest. But I’m not so sure that they’re all giving that same effort, and it’s because they know that they’ll play,” Mikal said. “This is a game that gave us some things that we can build off of, but it was a tough one. And that’s because Beavercreek is a very very good team. We have seven guys who were making their first starts on varsity today, and that’s tough to do against a solid program like Beavercreek.”
Both teams return to action on Saturday. Beavercreek (1-0) heads north to play a non-league opponent in Perrysburg; Xenia will host GWOC Central foe Huber Heights Wayne for a 3 p.m. contest at Cox Stadium. The Bucs girls program will host Wayne at 1 p.m. that same day.
(John Bombatch is the sports editor for the Greene County Newspapers.)