The unbeaten Batavia Bulldogs, who own the best varsity boys soccer record in the Southern Buckeye Conference, either division, and all of Clermont County, defeated the most improved boys varsity soccer squad in the county, Felicity, 7-1 on the winners’ soil.
Batavia struck early and often before their guests got it together and made it a much more competitive clash.
Neil Wilson, junior midfielder, drew first blood on a throw in with just two minutes and 53 seconds used in the game. Sophomore midfielder Kyle Schmidtgen scored two minutes later and Wilson added another goal two and one-half minutes after that to shell shock the Cardinals.
The Cardinals finally shook off the offensive barrage and began to move and react quicker against the more aggressive and experienced Bulldogs on their senior night.
The Red and White did not give up and showed their undying competitive spirit by scoring a goal with just four seconds left in the first half on a kick by junior striker Clayton Wehrum to make the score 3-1 at halftime. This was done against one of Greater Cincinnati’s most talented and stingy goalkeepers, Brian Hawk, a senior.
The Green and White struck frequently again to begin the second half on goals by Wilson, Schmidtgen (twice), and senior midfielder Tim Knauer. Schmidtgen’s goal was registered on a solo drive down almost the entire length of the field of play.
This closed out the evening’s scoring and both teams strengthened and tightened their respective defenses and did not allow another point to be scored.
“I was pleased, especially for the seniors, since it was their last game on their home field,” said Nick Noel, the ‘Dawgs’ head coach. “I was happy I got a lot of the younger kids some varsity experience.”
The head honcho of the Green and White pointed out “we haven’t trailed in a game since we played Georgetown (game four, Sept. 1).
“We need to get ourselves ready for the tournament. I’m confident they’re getting ready behind our captains (midfielders Ian) Malott and (Tim) Knauer . They are good leaders. We’re getting real good play from our two center backs (junior Brandon) Bottorf and (sophomore Blake) Burke. Our goalkeeper (senior) Brian Hawk has played just one year and has played solid all year. He’s a good athlete.”
The Batavia seniors are Hawk, Knauer, Malott, midfielder Corey Griffith, and defender and midfielder Kevin Niebauer.
Felicity is a squad that is continuing to exhibit improvement despite the loss to Batavia.
“We pretty much got beat pretty good. We’ve been inconsistent all year,” said Vicki Wehrum, Felicity head coach.