BELLBROOK — Maybe it was the blustery weather that had the Greeneview Rams appearing sleepy early on in Tuesday’s Division III sectional championship game. Whatever it was, the upstart and upset minded Miami Valley Rams provided the wake up call.
Greeneview fended off several Miami Valley scoring tries in the first half, then took command in the second half for an eventual 4-0 win at Bellbrook High School.
“You’ve gotta hand Miami Valley all the credit in the world. They came at us in that first half and ran right at us. It really put us on our heels,” Greeneview Rams coach Bob Eakins said. “We were lucky to get an early breakaway in the first half, but they really came at us, and that’s something we’ve gotta work on from here on out.”
Eakins said his 15-2-1 team has been dealing with some injuries of late, but hopes to have his Greeneview Rams back at full strength when they’ll compete in the District championship match, at 7 p.m. Saturday at Sidney High School.
The team will face Pleasant Hill Newton, Tuesday night’s 3-1 winner over Tipp City Bethel at Kettering Fairmont.
“I’m very proud of my boys. We made some adjustments at halftime and put the pressure on them, and I think that reflects in the scoring,” Eakins said.
The lone first-half goal came early on in the contest when Austin Cyphers took a right-to-left crossing pass from Jaden Baise for a quick shot into the left side of the goal with 34:51 left to play in the opening half.
Miami Valley (6-10-2) appeared to control the ball for most of the half, with Carter Haak and Ian Leskee making several drives toward the Greeneview goal.
Baise was instrumental in earning Greeneview some second-half breathing room as well.
Barely eight minutes into the second half, Josh Jenkins sent a corner kick in from the right side and Baise took the long pass from just to the left of the Miami Valley goal and headed the ball in.
Dart Hovan scored the third Greeneview goal on a play that would make any tennis player smile.
With just over seven minutes in the match, Miami Valley’s goalkeeper charged out about 20 yards from the goal to clear a pass. But when he cleared the ball, it went almost directly to Hovan who lobbed a high arching shot over the Miami Valley goalie’s outstretched hands and into the open goal.
Hovan took advantage of a rebound off a Baise shot at goal with about two minutes left to play to knock in the final tally of the night.
“Jaden Baise played with so much heart tonight. It was … uh … this was a really good win for us,” Eakins said. “Jaden’s a very special kid. I’m not gonna lie. I’m just happy to be a part of his life.
“This senior group is a very special one, and this one was a very big win for this team.”
YELLOW SPRINGS 2, MIAMI EAST 1: With the Bulldogs’ win Tuesday night at Eaton High School, Yellow Springs will face Summit Country Day for a district crown at 7 p.m. Saturday at Centerville Soccer Stadium, which is located behind Magsig Middle School in Centerville. No individual statistics were reported from this match.
John Bombatch can be reached at (937) 372-4444, Ext. 2123.