GREENVILLE — Greenville knew Tuesday night was going to be a tough game.
Vandalia-Butler’s soccer team is the defending Greater Western Ohio Conference North Division champions, so as newcomers to the conference, the Wave, had their work cut out for them.
But Greenville held Butler at a one-point lead, making run after run at the Aviators’ goal but ultimately falling short, losing 2-1.
The Wave finished strong, fighting for every last second until the buzzer rang.
“That’s the best we’ve played all year. Physically, momentum-wise, just the speed of the game,” Greenville boys soccer coach Brent DeVoss said. “We’ve been in our games, but the speed we showed in that second half was just amazing. Everybody stepped it up.”
Within five minutes of the first half, Wave goalie Sam Bowers was already hard at work, deflecting two Butler breakaways.
“Sam Bowers, keeping us in the game. Incredible job,” DeVoss said. “Throttled with shots all night long, deflected them. The shots he gave up were phenomenal goals. I don’t know too many keepers who could’ve made those saves.”
But Bowers couldn’t save them all. Eight minutes in,VB’s Phil Royer knocked in the first goal from a corner assist.
Ten minutes later, VB’s Casey Plyman stole another goal on a breakaway.
According to DeVoss, Greenville was a little intimidated by the Aviators at first, but a change of attitude at halftime sent them wheeling back into the game.
“We kind of played on our heels a little bit,” he said. “We went into halftime, we said lets just go have fun and attack the ball. And the second half that’s just what they did. They changed momentum and put it on.”
As Greenville continued to stop Butler’s advances, its tempo mounted.
“I always tell them if you let a weaker team hang around long enough their confidence builds. And our confidence built tonight. And we really turned it on that second half,” DeVoss said.
And it was that confidence that sent Bailey Haworth racing into Butler’s goal. When Butler’s goalie slipped on the recovery, Haworth knocked the loose ball right into the net.
“Bailey Haworth, constant persistence towards that goalkeeper,” DeVoss said. “I said play the misses, play the mistakes, and by golly there’s a mistake, and he capitalizes big. It brought us right back into the game.”
The Wave soccer team is now 1-3 in the conference and moves on to play at Sidney for their third to last game of the regular season.
“Sidney’s gonna be a tough one; they’re really playing well right now,” DeVoss said. We’re going to keep working hard and keep that momentum.”