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Sports

Sept. 30, 2021 — Bulldog Sports Round-Up

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SOCCER

YSHS varsity boys continue streak

The Yellow Springs High School boys soccer team stands at number one in its Southwest Ohio Division III league, the Metro Buckeye Conference, or MBC, and has a chance to secure the 2021 conference title when the Bulldogs host the MBC championship game against Dayton Christian on Tuesday, Oct. 5.

Head coach Ben VanAusdal is optimistic about the team’s prospects, noting that a win will mark the first championship title for boys soccer since 2014.

“The boys are playing very well,” VanAusdal said this week. “They’re fun to watch.”

As of Monday, the team remained undefeated with a record of 11–0–0 in overall play, including three wins against conference teams. Only once this season has the squad allowed more than a single goal by an opposing team, and that was in a 5–2 win against Wayne High School, a Division I team.

In the past two weeks, the Bulldogs prevailed against Greenon on Sept. 13 (7–1), Legacy Christian on Sept. 16 (4–1), Xenia on Sept. 18 (7–0), Fairborn on Sept. 20 (6–1), Emmanuel Christian on Sept. 23 (5–1) and Miami Valley School on Sept. 25 (5–0).

Like the Bulldogs, the Greenon Knights were undefeated going into the Sept. 13 game in Yellow Springs, and the game was close during the first half with a score of 1–1 at halftime, VanAusdal said.

“The boys came out and really dominated the second half,” the coach said of the YS varsity squad.

Eli Eyrich had three goals and two assists; Henry Smith-Heston had two goals; and Alex VanAusdal and Dylon Mapes each had a goal, with Mapes also earning three assists. Landon Harris and Ben Espinosa each had an assist as well, and goalkeeper Krishan Miller grabbed a save.

The Sept. 16 win against Legacy Christian Academy in Xenia was especially sweet, VanAusdal said. The team, which like Greenon plays under the Knights moniker, is the defending 2020 MBC champ.

“We had a heartbreaking loss to them last year,” the coach said. “The boys had been waiting all year to play them again.”

The game was scoreless at the half, but the Bulldogs pulled out during the second half for the 4–1 finish. Eyrich accumulated three goals and D’Andre Cowen had one goal and one assist. Landon Harris and Smith-Heston each had an assist.

The 7–0 shutout against Xenia on Sept. 18 was the Bulldog’s second shutout of the season and the second win against a Division I team. Eyrich earned four goals and one assist; and Espinosa, Mapes and Smith-Heston each secured a goal each, with Espinosa adding one assist and Mapes logging three assists. Cameron Harris also earned two assists, and Krishan Miller added two saves to his record.

The Sept. 20 game against Fairborn was another match-up against a Division I team.

The Bulldogs “pretty much dominated from the beginning,” ending the first half at 5–0, the coach said. The Skyhawks scored their only goal with not much more than a minute left in the game, he added.

Noting that Fairborn appeared to focus its defense “on two of our players,” the Bulldogs spread out their scoring among the squad. Eyrich, Cowen, Jason Knemeyer, Mapes, Smith-Heston and Landon Harris each earned a goal, with Eyrich logging three assists and Cowen, Smith-Heston and Ethan Knemeyer earning one assist each. Goalkeeper Miller logged four saves.

Miller earned eight saves during the Sept. 23 home game against conference rival Emmanuel Christian Academy from Springfield. Eyrich earned three goals and two assists and Cowen had two goals. Landon Harris, Mapes and Smith-Heston each logged individual assists.

The Sept. 25 5–0 win against conference opponent Miami Valley School marked goalkeeper Miller’s third shutout of the season.

“This game was just really fun to watch as a coach,” VanAusdal said, adding that the Yellow Springs players knew what they needed to do without the coach’s intercession. Eyrich earned two goals and one assist, and Cowen, Mapes and Smith-Heston each secured a goal, with Mapes also logging one assist. Tallis Onfroy-Curley also earned an assist.

The Bulldogs were set to hit the road Tuesday, Sept. 28, for an away game against Jackson Center in Shelby County. The Tigers’ record stood at 5–4–2 going into the non-conference contest.

In addition to the Bulldogs’ 11–0–0 record, several individual players have top rankings in the MBC. Junior Eli Eyrich is in first place with the most points — 65 — in the league. The points are tallied by combining a player’s goals and assists. In comparison, the league’s second-place holder has 35 points, VanAusdal noted. Junior Dylon Mapes is in third place with 31 points. Eyrich is also first in the number of goals, with 27. Second-place has 13, and Mapes is third with nine. The pair are also leaders in assists, with Mapes in first place for 13 assists and Eyrich second for 11 assists. Junior Krishon Miller is second in the conference for the number of saves as goalkeeper, with 56 saves.

As for the conference championship game Oct. 5, coach VanAusdal said he hopes to see lots of Bulldog support in the home stands. Game time is 7:30 p.m.
—Carol Simmons

Boys JV team undefeated

After a slow start to the season related to several canceled and postponed games, the high school junior varsity team had a 6–0–0 record at the end of last week.

This month’s JV triumphs included games against: Emmanuel Christian on Sept. 7, ending 5–1; Miami Trace, Sept. 15, with a final score of 8–1; Xenia. Sept. 18, winning 7–1; Fairborn, Sept. 20, finishing 8–0; and Emmanuel Christian on Sept. 23, ending 4–1.

In the Sept. 7 game against Emmanuel Christian, Grayson Horn had two goals and Lucas Tomblison, Eli Matteson and Landon Harris each earned one. Harris also logged an assist, as did D’Andre Cowen and Jia Sundell-Turner.

The Sept. 15 match-up with Miami Trace saw four goals by Cowen and one each by Horn, Sam Gilley, Alex VanAusdal and Sam Miller. Miller also had two assists, and VanAusdal, Joseph Anderson and Harris each had one assist.

On Sept. 18 against Xenia, Cowen and Gilley each had two goals, and Horn, Matteson and Liam McClain each scored once. Gilley also had an assist.

The Sept. 20 Fairborn shutout saw Cowen earn three goals, and McClain, Harris, Antonio Chaiten, Horn and Gilley each with one. Horn also had two assists, and Chaiten, Gilley and Tomblison each had one.

The game against Emmanuel Christian on Sept. 23 saw single goals by McClain, Gilley, Cowen and Krishan Miller. Cowen, Krishan Miller and Sam Miller also each had an assist.
—Ben VanAusdal, head coach

YSHS girls hit the road

The Bulldogs continued their streak of away games with a match against conference rival Legacy Christian on Sept. 16. Legacy Christian won the toss and chose to kick off. They brought the ball down and tested first-year goalkeeper Gema Brizeula. Brizeula made early saves, but the talented Legacy mid-field put an early goal on the scoreboard. As the Bulldogs adjusted to the accelerated rate of play on the artificial turf, the game settled into back-and-forth play.

Junior Halee Sparks and senior Tahlia Potter worked together in the midfield to get the ball to sophomore strikers Alisha Cowen and Lily Kibblewhite and freshman Katie Quigley and pressure the Legacy offense. Kibblewhite, first-year Lili Herzog, junior Ahsha Jackson and senior Carla Harris had offensive opportunities in the first half, but were unable to score. Behind by five at halftime, the second half saw the Bulldogs step up play, but they were unable to find the back of the net.

Two days later, the opponent was powerhouse Xenia High School on Xenia’s home field on the hottest day of the season. The YSHS defense, including seniors Delia Hallett, Myrah Burton, Carina Basora and first-year players Julia Capasso, Jane Chambers, Tiger Collins and Payton Horton, closed ranks to hold the Xenia offense, but the Buccaneers’ quick strikers found ways to penetrate through.

Junior goalkeeper Mackenzie Horton put up some great saves in response to the unrelenting pressure of the Xenia offense. The Bulldogs worked hard, but after a week of games on the road, a small bench due to injuries and the added heat, they were unable to get on the scoreboard.

On Saturday, Sept. 25, the Bulldogs faced conference opponent The Miami Valley School. With several key players missing from the Bulldogs lineup, the team struggled to find their rhythm, and the team fell to the MVS Rams 5–1. Potter had several breakaways, but only one was able to result in a goal. The smaller squad also allowed for notable field performances from utility players junior Mackenzie Horton and freshmen Jane Chambers and Katie Quigley.

The Bulldogs are on the road again this Saturday, Oct. 2, when they play National Trail in New Paris. The team will finally be back at home for the first time in five weeks on Tuesday, Oct. 5, when they face conference powerhouse Dayton Christian at 5:30 p.m.
—Jonina Kelley, head coach, and Sarah Wallis, assistant coach

CROSS-COUNTRY

Bulldogs earn hardware

Competing Saturday, Sept. 25, in the inaugural Emmanuel Christian Academy Invitational, the Bulldogs brought home a bevy of hardware with their best performance of the year.

The McKinney Middle School girls secured a trophy with a solid runner-up finish. The young Bulldogs were led by seventh-grader Vivian Grushon, who ran to a second-place finish in a swift time of 13:50. Making a significant contribution were medal recipient Sasi Drees-Johnson (11th) and Rebecca DeWine (20th), Lauren Finney (22nd) and Hannah Finney (24th).

The McKinney boys earned third place, with eighth-grader Ted Horvath receiving a medal for his third-place finish in a fine time of 12:25. Will Oberg ran a season best time of 14:44, followed ably by Kyle Johnston (22nd), Oskar Dennis (2rth), Donovan Cooney (31st), Jaden Douglas (32nd) and Charlie Carr (33rd).

Junior Cheyan Sundell-Turner continued her superb running as she finished in first place for the second consecutive week with a personal best time of 20:15. Fellow junior Josie DeWine continued her comeback with a medal for her 12th-place finish.

The high school boys finished in fourth place with great efforts and times put forth by each of the seven young men who competed. Ninth-grader Jia Sundell-Turner led the pack of Bulldogs with a 15th-place finish in a season best time of 20:52, and fellow ninth-grader Isaac Lewis also ran a season best time of 21:37 while finishing 22nd. Jack Horvath (25th), Kyle Raymer (36th), Malcolm Blunt (37th), Kael Cooney (38th) and Evan Galarza (40th) ran as a tight-knit back and performed admirably.

Coach Isabelle Dierauer said that the course was fun, producing season best times along with great fan support from the strong Yellow Springs contingent.

This weekend the McKinney boys and girls will compete at the Jim Murray Invitational, which will take place at the Clark County Fairgrounds, while the YSHS boys and girls will go to Centerville High School for the annual Saturday Night Lights Invitational.
—John Gudgel, assistant coach

VOLLEYBALL

Bulldogs show determination

Recent matches for the Yellow Springs High School volleyball team saw the Bulldogs win two and lose one.

The loss came on Sept. 11 against the highly ranked Northeastern team, 0–3. But the Bulldogs bounced back quickly with convincing wins against conference opponent Emmanuel Christian, 3–0, on Sept. 16, and crosstown rival Greenview, 3–0, on Sept. 18.

The squad struggled against Northeastern in the serve and pass department. The Bulldogs played great defense, but could not get going offensively. Then, facing Emanuel Christian on Sept. 16, the Bulldogs played together well and were very efficient in every aspect of the game to get the team’s first conference win. The Greeneview win two days later was particularly sweet.

Last year, the Bulldogs lost 3–2 in a heartbreaking match, after being up 2–0 against the Rams. This time, Yellow Springs did not let off the gas. The points were close early in all three sets, but the YS players took control of the game and finished all three sets on long runs.

Aaliyah Longshaw led the three games with 27 kills and 28 digs, playing six rotations in only nine total sets. Angie Smith added 22 digs and 13 kills, while only playing in two of the three matches. Josephine Zinger had 54 assists over the three games and only nine sets, averaging six assists a set. The rest of the team members had great contributions that allowed the squad leaders to flourish. It takes everyone’s contributions to be successful.

I am very proud of the entire group. The varsity and JV are playing hard every game, and it is inspiring as a coach to see players giving everything all the time while maintaining the right attitude, win or lose!

The team’s current season record is 10–3 overall and 2–2 in conference play.
—Phil Renfro, coach

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