CLAYTON — An early evening thunderstorm Thursday that produced a heavy downpour delayed the start of the soccer match between Northmont and visiting Vandalia-Butler. Once play got under way the static charge from the lightning lingered as sparks flew between the two rival schools.
The Thunderbolts came out on the attack and dominated play throughout the first half. Northmont took 12 shots, eight of which were on goal while limiting Butler to only three first half shots and only one on goal. The half ended in a scoreless deadlock.
Butler turned the tables early in the second half with repeated runs on the Northmont goal, but late in the match Northmont made one relentless attack after another on the Aviators to no avail.
Butler freshman goalkeeper Eli Gaylon made an outstanding save on a strong shot by a Northmont player inside the goal box and rebuffed every shot the Thunderbolts could muster in the final 10 minutes of play.
With the tie Butler moves to 8-1-2 overall while Northmont is now 5-3-3.
It was a well-played match by both schools and a frustrating ending for Northmont. Both teams played aggressive soccer throughout the second half. Northmont took nine shots, four on goal while Butler took eight shots with four on goal.
“That’s the unfortunate part of this game when you should be up two or three to nothing at halftime,” said Northmont Coach Bob Brown. “You don’t score when you should and things happen that don’t go your way. We fully deserved the points, but Vandalia plays hard and they do what Coach Doring asks them to do and they are well organized. It’s frustrating when you full-out feel you should win a game and getting nothing out of the results. It is what it is. Beavercreek kind of taught us a lesson the other night. You can’t come out and just kind of dance around and act like you know what you are doing. You have to get into the game, so it was a good lesson. Hopefully the kids won’t get disappointed by this tie and just go forward. Our schedule doesn’t get an easier. We have Fairfield, Lebanon, Springboro, Canal Winchester and Miamisburg to finish and all of them are good teams, so if we take a night off we are going to lose. We just need to keep building so that we are where we need to be when tournament starts October 17.”
Butler Coach Steve Doring felt fortunate that his team escaped with a tie.
“I was not anticipating the team speed that Northmont started the match with,” Doring said. “We were definitely on our back foot. Bobby is great coach and he has his team very organized. For awhile there we were just hanging on. We found our footing a little bit in the second half but I definitely think we were the second best team tonight and we are fortunate to get out with a zero-zero tie. Kudos to my boys for digging in and grinding, but we are happy with the nil-nil tie and we will move on from there.”