Carroll and Beavercreek cap improbable rides to state soccer finals

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Beavercreek and Carroll high schools are separated by seven miles, yet both played for state soccer titles Friday.

Anyone who has ever driven on US Route 35 just east of Dayton on a
weekend knows that there’s something going on at the intersection of
Orchard Lane. That’s where the Beavercreek Soccer Association’s Ankeney Soccer Complex resides. Most days its 20 fields are filled. Friday the place was empty.


COLUMBUS – Anyone who has ever driven on US Route 35 just east of Dayton on a weekend knows that there’s something going on at the intersection of Orchard Lane.

That’s where the Beavercreek Soccer Association’s Ankeney Soccer Complex resides.

Most days its 20 fields are filled. Friday the place was empty.

Beavercreek and Carroll high schools, separated by a seven-mile stretch of road, each played for state soccer championships Friday at Crew Stadium.

Carroll won its Division II title game against Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy 3-2 in a shootout. Beavercreek dropped its D-I final to Cleveland St. Ignatius 1-0.

Both teams got their starts in the same system – some even on the same team. Some live on the…

“Same street,” Carroll junior Jon Buschur said. “(I’ve played with or against) every one of (Beavercreek’s players) and known them my whole life or at least since I started playing. That’s how it is.”

So how many Beavercreek kids play for Carroll?

“I don’t know off the top of my head, but quite a handful,” Carroll head coach Scott Molfenter said. ‘It’s a good chunk, no doubt.”

Few programs in Ohio have had the success Carroll and Beavercreek have had historically. The fact that the schools pull kids from the same neighborhoods and can produce sustained excellence says a lot about the fertility of the plot of Greene and Montgomery counties the duo farms. It also says a lot about the feeder programs. And families.

And foes.

Carroll has always been a solid soccer program, but its no coincidence the Patriots broke through for their first state title since 1980 after joining the Greater Catholic League three years ago.

During a 19-year stay in the Mid-Miami League, Carroll won 19 straight league titles and didn’t lose a league game. That’s right. The Patriots were 142-0-9 in MML games. Over that span Carroll also made four trips to the state semifinals, including three straight from 2003-05, and went 0-4.

In their first time back with three seasons of GCL-seasoning, the Patriots are state champs.

“The move to the GCL helped us no doubt,” Molfenter said. “I knew we had a chance and I knew we’d be competitive. These kids work hard.”

Buschur, who scored the game-winning goal on the fifth and final penalty kick, agreed: “I won’t say we’re the most skilled team, but we’re the hardest working team. We’ve worked our (butts) off and it finally paid off.”

Beavercreek has been money itself lately.

The Beavers were playing in their first state final since 1990 but haven’t had many down seasons between then and now.

Head coach John Guiliano has built a power in his 20 years at Creek and has a 258-88-63 record to prove it. The last three years the Beavers have won the Greater Western Ohio Conference Central Division, which is one of the state’s top leagues.

Five of the GWOC’s six members have state history. Kettering Fairmont made the state tournament in 2006, while former state champion Centerville has more wins than any program in state history. Huber Heights Wayne has been to state three times and Clayton Northmont has two state titles.

Creek failed to produce another championship for the conference Friday, but it did reinforce Dayton’s stance as one of Ohio’s top – if not the best – soccer region.

Said Buschur: “Everyone says Columbus, Cincinnati and Cleveland is where the great teams come from. I think we just put Dayton on the map.”

In particular a seven-mile stretch.

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