CLAYTON — Brandon Morton gave Northmont a 1-0 lead about 10 minutes into the boys soccer team’s home opener Tuesday against Fairmont, but the one goal advantage would not hold.
The Firebirds tied the match 1-1 a few minutes before halftime when Wes McClellan took a long throw-in and nailed a kick into the net. McClellan struck again in the second half scoring inside the penalty box with another strong kick to give Fairmont a 2-1 victory.
The loss was the Thunderbolts second straight after falling on the road Saturday 12-1 to Division III powerhouse Summit Country Day.
Fairmont is now 1-0-0 while Northmont is 0-2-0 to start the 2016 season.
Head Coach Bob Brown felt his team was pressing too hard as the Thunderbolts failed to put the ball in the net when presented with multiple opportunities to score.
“It was just two defensive breakdowns. We just lost on two set pieces that caused the goals,” Brown said. “On the other end we created chances, we just didn’t convert them.”
Northmont players launched kicks over the net on some of its scoring opportunities. Brown attributed that to his players trying too hard.
“It’s just one of those things where over the last couple of weeks and in our game Saturday as well as today, we haven’t coveted chances,” Brown said. “Throughout the summer when we created scoring chances like that we tucked them away. It’s gotten to the point where I think they are rushing things or getting a little antsy and the ball is just not going in the goal.”
Brown, a 1986 graduate of Northmont, is trying to bring the soccer program back to its former glory and to break the team out of a culture that too easily accepts defeat.
“I am excited about the leadership qualities that are being shown by our upperclassmen,” Brown added.
The Thunderbolts will host Troy on Thursday with the varsity match set for approximately 7 p.m. Saturday the team plays at Tipp City and on Tuesday plays at Centerville.