I boys soccer state poll this season., but despite that, the Beavers might feel at times
a bit like underdogs. “I think there’s pressure,” said Beavercreek junior Omotunji “T.J.” Badiru. “We have our rep to protect, show everybody
that we’re as good as we are. That we’re no joke.” Kettering Fairmont wasn’t laughing Saturday.
CLAYTON — Beavercreek has been no lower than fifth in the boys soccer Division I state poll this season. Despite that, the Beavers might feel at times a bit like underdogs in the postseason.
“I think there’s pressure,” said Beavercreek junior midfielder Omotunji “T.J.” Badiru. “We have our rep to protect, show everybody that we’re as good as we are. That we’re no joke.”
Kettering Fairmont wasn’t laughing Saturday. Beavercreek avenged last season’s playoff loss to the Firebirds with a 1-0 overtime win at Northmont High School’s Good Samaritan Stadium. It was the Beavers’ first district title since 2004 and set up a regional semifinal against traditional power Lakota West, a 3-0 winner over Lebanon on Saturday.
Both Beavercreek and Fairmont had decent scoring chances in regulation Saturday.
The Firebirds received a scare just five minutes into the game, but not from the Beavers. An attempt by Fairmont’s defense to clear the ball nearly resulted in an own-goal, but freshman keeper Austin Starr tracked down the misdirected ball.
Beavercreek’s best chances came with an offensive rush with 25 minutes before the half that went wide and senior midfielder Cory Gladden’s rocket that sailed high six minutes later.
Beavercreek, going with the wind in the second half, launched about a half dozen shots but couldn’t connect. Fairmont’s best opportunity with 10 minutes left also went high.
Badiru gave Beavercreek its second win over Fairmont this season just two minutes, 37 seconds into overtime. Junior forward Tyler Pollock crossed a pass to Badiru.
When the lone defender back appeared to slip making a cut, Badiru rolled the ball into the near right corner and past a diving Starr, who had no shot at the save.
“The whole time I’m thinking, ‘I can’t miss this.’ I was nervous thinking if I miss this …,” said Baduri.
“We knew we had the opportunity as soon as T.J. got control,” said Beavercreek coach John Guiliano said. “We knew he could beat the guy one-one. He’s tough.”
Beavercreek improved to 17-0-2 with its 14th shutout behind senior keeper Mitch Inkrott.
“We had a few legitimate chances, I’m happy to say,” said Fairmont coach John Boucuvalas. “They outplayed us, it was a deserving victory. We could have won, but they deserved it. … I hope they win state. It’s nice to have a team from Dayton do well and represent the area. I think Beavercreek’s a good team to do that.”
Beavercreek attempts to join Mason and Colerain as the only teams to beat Lakota West (14-2-3) at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Northmont.