CLAYTON — After reeling off eight consecutive victories the Northmont boys soccer team lost its first game of the season Tuesday night to division rival Springboro, 5-0.
The Thunderbolts’ offense never got in sync while the Panthers kept relentless pressure on the Northmont goal the entire game. Braxton Kendrick took a shot on goal that Northmont goalkeeper Nick Newman blocked, but the ball bounced back into the field of play and Kendrick immediately nailed the ball into the net to put the Panthers up 1-0 with 30:16 remaining in the first half.
Tommy Mitchell boosted the lead to 2-0 with 7:32 remaining.
After halftime many expected Northmont to regroup and come out on the attack. However, Springboro wasted no time continuing its dominance when Andrew Koorndyk scored one minute and 10 seconds into the second half to boost the lead to 3-0.
The Panthers nailed the coffin shut with another goal by Jared Edmonson with 14:20 left and added a fifth with five minutes left on a shot by Dominic Miller.
The Panthers avenged a 4-2 loss to Northmont on Sept. 3 in a non-conference contest that was played to fill a vacancy in the schedule. With the victory Springboro improved to 4-0-0 in conference play and to 6-3-0 overall while Northmont fell to 3-1-0 and 8-1-0.
Northmont couldn’t sustain many runs at the goal without the Springboro either taking the ball away or clearing it downfield. On the other hand Panthers players appeared to maneuver their way through the Thunderbolts’ defense with no difficulty and always seemed to find an open teammate to pass to when needed.
All in all it was frustrating night for Northmont.
“We beat them two weeks ago and it is tough to beat a team twice, especially two weeks apart,” said Northmont coach Bob Brown. “To their credit they made a couple of changes and we just didn’t adjust to it. Kudos to them. They played a really good game.”
The loss might have been a good thing for the team to experience to serve as a reality check. Brown knows he has a good team and is thrilled with their performance thus far.
“It’s a good a team. They play for each other and hopefully they will rebound,” Brown stated. “We have a big game on Saturday against Fairfield (2:45 p.m. at home) which is always a dangerous team and then a league game Tuesday vs. Fairmont (7:15 p.m. at home) followed by a game on Thursday and another game on Saturday, so we play five games in the next nine days.”
After Fairmont the Thunderbolts play at Troy on Sept. 26 against a Trojans team that always plays physical before returning home on Sept. 28 vs. Tippecanoe. On Oct. 1 the Thunderbolts face division opponent Lebanon on the road.
“There are no breaks,” Brown added. “We have a difficult schedule but it is good for us because when we get to tournament there is nothing that we haven’t seen. It will also be nice to finish the regular season against Beavercreek and Wayne because that is two really good games at the end that we can learn a lot from.”