CLAYTON — Northmont and Vandalia-Butler have both had their struggles this year in girls soccer.
The Lady Bolts lost a wealth of talent to graduation and have struggled to find the back of the net. Butler has been saddled with injuries to five key players and has had to move people up to varsity and down to the JV squad in order to field full teams and have also struggled scoring.
Northmont and Butler recently both took 30-plus shots on goal against opponents they should have defeated with ease and both teams barely squeaked out 2-1 victories: Northmont over Springfield and Butler over Trotwood-Madison.
Monday night the Lady Bolts offense came to life as Northmont scored a 5-1 victory over Butler.
Sydney Caras scored after Butler’s goal keeper came out to rebuff a shot on the left side of the net. A Northmont player managed to kick the ball across to goal box to Caras who put the ball away from the right side to put Northmont up 1-0.
Butler tied the game on a shot that goalkeeper Taylor Pritchett cradled on the ground, but the field official ruled that Selman rolled across the goal line to award Butler its lone goal of the night to tie the match at 1-1.
Butler’s injury list is long and a number of junior varsity players saw action against Northmont.
“If I didn’t bring JV players up to varsity I wouldn’t have had any subs,” said Butler Coach John Gray. “We have five varsity players injured. The JV squad wouldn’t have any subs either if I didn’t send girls down, so I am playing girls three halves and they are dead tired. My second leading scorer in the conference (Brittney Petrosky) has a hamstring injury and a bad cleat bruise, so I just took her out of the game. There is no use leaving her in there with the score getting away. One of my other leading scorers is playing at 50 percent and then we suffered another injury with a sprained ankle tonight and we have two players that have suffered concussions, so it is ridiculous what we’ve been though.”
Gray said he was not sure how long it would take his team to recover from its list of injuries because so many of them are playing hurt. The Lady Aviators just don’t have enough substitutes to allow those injured players to simply sit out some matches.
“There is nothing you can do about it. You just have to go with what you’ve got for the most part and hope for the best,” Gray added.
The Lady Bolts wore down their injury addled guests the remainder of the night. With 3:22 remaining in the first half junior Rozalyn Malott hooked a shot in from the right side off an assist by Abigail Spirk to give Northmont a 2-1 lead at the half.
Early in the second half senior McKenzie Stefanoff scored on a header right in front of the goal at the 38:53 mark. Junior Emily Howard scored at 34:05 when Butler goalkeeper Erika Washburn came out of the goal to try and block her shot. Howard kicked the ball hard enough that it got past Washburn, who also kicked the ball at virtually the same instant. The ball got past Washburn and rolled slowly 20 yards into the back of the net to boost the lead to 4-1.
Samantha Roman capped the scoring with a goal with 29:49 left.
With the victory Northmont improved to 4-3-1 while Butler fell to 4-4-2. The five goal night was Northmont’s best offensive output of the season.
“Butler is a little depleted right now faced with a lot of injuries and we were able to take advantage of that tonight,” said Northmont Coach Ted Mergler. “The girls looked very creative in the second half and were putting things together to find the back of the net. We just really controlled the tempo of the game.”