By John Bombatch
BEAVERCREEK — Unlike most high school kids, the Beavercreek boys soccer team was looking for a test. The state-ranked Beavers entered Tuesday night’s match with Clayton Northmont undefeated with five shutouts in six contests.
Now they have six.
Beavercreek overwhelmed Northmont by a 6-0 margin on Frank Zink Field.
The Beavers (7-0-0, 5-0-0 in the Greater Western Ohio Conference’s National East) went on the attack early against Northmont (2-6-1, 1-3-1 GWOC National West). Less than 30 seconds into the contest, Nicholas Tagliatti passed off to his left and Ryan Bernt kicked a left-to-right shot from close range to score.
Two minutes later, Tagliatti drove in from the right baseline and squeezed a nifty shot between the Thunderbolts goalie and the right post for Beavercreek’s second score of the evening.
“This was a (Greater Western Ohio Conference) test for us. Saturday, we go over to Columbus St. Charles. They’re no. 2 in the state, so we’ll find out where we are after that match,” Beavercreek coach John Guiliano said. “The kids played well tonight. Everybody got some playing time. We should’ve maybe put away a couple more goals. We had our opportunities, and we played well.”
Beavercreek is ranked no. 5 in the latest Division I Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association statewide poll.
At the 15:58 mark of the first half, Sam Pearl took a pass from Eric Williams and scored, to continue the Beavers’ scoring onslaught. Co-captain Caleb Austin scored a goal with roughly six minutes left in the halt to make it 4-0, Beavercreek at the half.
Beavercreek’s leading scorer Vince Young failed to score against Northmont, but with the balanced arsenal of weapons at the Beavers’ disposal, he didn’t have to.
“Oh no, it’s not just me. We have a whole team of scorers,” Young, who leads the team with nine goals and three assists, said. “There’s a bunch of guys on this team who can put the ball away on any given night.”
The Beavercreek second half was just as dominating, with Dominic Calabrese scoring two unassisted goals. He juked his way around the Northmont goalie and knocked a slow right-to-left dribbler into the left corner of the goal to put the Beavers ahead 5-0, then Noah Ackerson fed him a nice pass for a low rolling score with roughly minutes left to play.
“We are technically more skilled than we’ve been in probably the last 4-5 years,” Guiliano said. “We don’t lose anything when we substitute players onto the field. We don’t lose any speed and we don’t lose any skill. We’ve got two sophomores who made the roster (Ackerson and Mark Rzecznik), and they’re coming along really well. And we’ve got three goaltenders (Tuesday’s starter Liam Dipple, Brandon Harroff and Ben Dutton), and they’re all getting playing time. We’re doing well with the capabilities we have, as long as we stay healthy.”
Dipple said he’d put his team’s offense up against anyone and he’d know his team had a shot at a win.
“If Vince keeps doing what he does, and if Daniel Donohue – our defender and center back- keeps playing he way he is, and if Ryan Bernt – our left wing- he keeps scoring, too, I’d be comfortable in challenging anyone,” Dipple said. “Anyone can take us on, and I’d like our chances. We have a solid team with a lot of confidence.”
Northmont had entered Tuesday’s contest on a bit of a roll. After going winless in August, the ‘Bolts had been undefeated in September (2-0-1), with a 1-all tie on the road against Huber Heights Wayne and home wins over New Carlisle Tecumseh (5-1) and Springfield (7-0).
Despite several impressive point-blank saves by ‘Bolts goalie Kellen O’Shea, Beavercreek scored the most goals against Northmont this season on Tuesday. Previously, Tipp City Tippecanoe and Centerville had scored four goals against Northmont.
The Beavers take on St. Charles at 4 p.m. Saturday in Columbus, while Northmont will play at Vandalia Butler at 7 p.m. that same day.
You can reach John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.