Golden Eagles soar into district semis

By Ben Stroup and Michael Rich - The Delaware Gazette

Big Walnut’s Alexis Schone (15) and Buckeye Valley’s Kennedy Wirth battle for possession during the first half of Thursday’s Division II district tournament game in Sunbury.

Ben Stroup | Gazette

By Ben Stroup and Michael Rich

The Delaware Gazette

Sophomore Alexis Schone scored two of her three goals in the first five minutes of the second half to give the Big Walnut girls soccer team some breathing room.

The second-seeded Golden Eagles cruised to a 6-1 win over visiting Buckeye Valley in the second round of the Division II district tournament Thursday night (Oct. 19) in Sunbury.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Alexis Schone said. “I’ve been working so hard and finally, my hard work paid off tonight. And tonight … it counted the most.”

The game wasn’t without controversy, though. Down 2-0 in the second half, Buckeye Valley was awarded a goal with 2:21 left in the half.

Hannah Cowan’s corner kick appeared to hit the left post before being cleared. The referees determined moments later that the ball broke the plane. Jillian Hon was credited with the goal for the Barons.

“It was a tough way to end the half,” BW coach Drew Pitzer said. “We weren’t panicked. We took ownership – we put ourselves in that position. We had five, six chances to finish and we didn’t.”

All-in-all, it didn’t matter. Schone scored twice in a span of a minute and a half to break the game open for the Eagles (12-2-4).

“We came out in the second half with a lot of energy and we got those two quick ones,” Pitzer said. “We wanted to do that in the first half too and we didn’t.”

Her first goal beat the goalie high and she headed in the second one off an Emma Padgett pass.

Alexis Schone rebounded a Grace Bodker shot and scored to give BW a 1-0 lead with 31:13 left in the first half.

“The thing with Alexis Schone is that she’s capable of a hat trick every night. She’s also capable of not scoring for a few games,” Pitzer said. “But, she’s so dangerous and can score in bunches. When she’s seeing the ball, when she’s seeing (the game) slow down a little bit, she can just finish.”

Kaitlyn Meade put the Eagles up 2-0 on a free kick with 7:14 left in the opening half.

Avery Schone and Morgan Bodker added goals late in the second half to give BW its final margin of victory.

BW goalie Payton Carter was denied a ninth shutout in the last 10 games. The Eagles picked up their seventh straight victory and are 9-0-2 in their last 11, having allowed just three goals over that stretch.

She finished with three saves, nonetheless.

Camryn Crawford stopped five shots in net for the fifth-seeded Barons (11-6).

“(BW) positioned themselves so well defensively,” BV coach Lucy Schmitt said. “Their goals were rockets and perfectly placed. That’s just well-coached, talented players taking advantage of an opportunity.”

BW advances to the district semifinal round and will host seventh-seeded Bishop Hartley Tuesday night at 7 p.m., Oct. 24.

Big Walnut 18, Whitehall-Yearling 0

The Golden Eagles were sharp to open postseason play, winning Monday’s (Oct. 17) Division II district tournament opener against the visiting Rams by a lopsided margin.

Alle English finished with a game-best four goals while Adelee Gartner had a hat trick. Other multi-goal scorers included Kaitlin Meade, Emma Padgett and Anna Baldassarre, who scored two apiece.

Grace Bodker, Avery Schone, Alexis Schone, Emily Neff and Erin Boehm each scored once to smooth out the scoring summary.

“It was nice to see us play our game tonight and not sit back,” Big Walnut coach Drew Pitzer said. “We had a lot of players get really good tournament minutes that could be beneficial as the tournament moves along.”

Buckeye Valley 5, Lakewood 0

The Barons spread the wealth in their tournament opener, getting goals from five different players on the way to a dominant opening-round win to start the Division II district tournament Monday in Delaware.

Fifth-seeded Buckeye Valley got goals from Kennedy Wirth, Daelynn Rosser, Ellen Riley, Megan Hon and Selina Seliskar. Wirth’s came off a Hon corner kick and Seliskar found the back of the net off a feed from Aly Coburn.

“They spread it out,” BV coach Lucy Schmitt said. “Five goals on five scorers, including a defensive player. I can’t ask for much more. They’re really playing team ball right now.”

Next up, the Barons will take on second-seeded Big Walnut, which cruised to an opening-round win over Whitehall-Yearling Monday in Sunbury.

Pacers outlast Comets in OT

The Central Crossing girls soccer team had all the momentum heading into overtime, scoring a pair of second-half goals to erase a 2-0 deficit in Monday’s Division I district tournament opener in Delaware.

The host Pacers, though, couldn’t have cared less. Grace Miller buried a cross from Sydney McMillin into the back of the net just 56 seconds into the extra session to help 19th-seeded Delaware Hayes survive and advance.

“We felt we had to come out quick (in OT) as they had the momentum,” Pacer coach Bradd Smiley said. “We were able to get some good runs throughout the game, just couldn’t finish — their keeper was very good — but the girls did a good job of refocusing and executing that last run.”

The 3-2 win sets up a showdown with the 16th-seeded Monarchs, who had a first-round bye, Thursday in Marysville.

The game was a thriller … but it didn’t always look as though it was headed down to the wire.

Both teams took turns possessing the ball in the first half, with some good looking chances stemming from the solid stretches. The Comets’ Kennedy Edwards and Hallie Fryman took turns peppering the net with less than 15 minutes left in the first half, but Pacer keeper Abby Weller was up to the task, pushing the ball over the crossbar with leaping saves on both occasions.

Hayes’ best chances, at least in the first half, came in transition. None of them connected, though, until a centering pass found McMillin’s feet deep in the box. Central Crossing keeper Brittany Hanson stopped the sophomore’s initial point-blank shot, but McMillin collected the rebound and slipped it into the goal with 12.4 seconds left in the first half.

The Pacers doubled their advantage less than two minutes into the second half, when McMillin sent a centering pass through the box to a waiting Payje Wilson, who took care of the rest.

The Comets got on the board with 23 minutes to play and scored the equalizer with 10:32 left.

Big Walnut’s Alexis Schone (15) and Buckeye Valley’s Kennedy Wirth battle for possession during the first half of Thursday’s Division II district tournament game in Sunbury. Walnut’s Alexis Schone (15) and Buckeye Valley’s Kennedy Wirth battle for possession during the first half of Thursday’s Division II district tournament game in Sunbury. Ben Stroup | Gazette

By Ben Stroup and Michael Rich

The Delaware Gazette