Golden Eagles soar into district semis


By Michael Rich - For the Gazette



Big Walnut’s Alexis Schone (15) and Buckeye Valley’s Kennedy Wirth battle for possession during the first half of Thursday’s Division II district tournament game in Sunbury.


Ben Stroup | Gazette

Sophomore Alexis Schone scored two of her three goals in the first five minutes of the second half to give the Big Walnut girls soccer team some breathing room.

The second-seeded Golden Eagles cruised to a 6-1 win over visiting Buckeye Valley in the second round of the Division II district tournament Thursday night in Sunbury.

“I’m feeling pretty good right now,” Alexis Schone said. “I’ve been working so hard and finally, my hard work paid off tonight. And tonight … it counted the most.”

The game wasn’t without controversy, though. Down 2-0 in the second half, Buckeye Valley was awarded a goal with 2:21 left in the half.

Hannah Cowan’s corner kick appeared to hit the left post before being cleared. The referees determined moments later that the ball broke the plane. Jillian Hon was credited with the goal for the Barons.

“It was a tough way to end the half,” BW coach Drew Pitzer said. “We weren’t panicked. We took ownership – we put ourselves in that position. We had five, six chances to finish and we didn’t.”

All-in-all, it didn’t matter. Schone scored twice in a span of a minute and a half to break the game open for the Eagles (12-2-4).

“We came out in the second half with a lot of energy and we got those two quick ones,” Pitzer said. “We wanted to do that in the first half too and we didn’t.”

Her first goal beat the goalie high and she headed in the second one off an Emma Padgett pass.

Alexis Schone rebounded a Grace Bodker shot and scored to give BW a 1-0 lead with 31:13 left in the first half.

“The thing with Alexis Schone is that she’s capable of a hat trick every night. She’s also capable of not scoring for a few games,” Pitzer said. “But, she’s so dangerous and can score in bunches. When she’s seeing the ball, when she’s seeing (the game) slow down a little bit, she can just finish.”

Kaitlyn Meade put the Eagles up 2-0 on a free kick with 7:14 left in the opening half.

Avery Schone and Morgan Bodker added goals late in the second half to give BW its final margin of victory.

BW goalie Payton Carter was denied a ninth shutout in the last 10 games. The Eagles picked up their seventh straight victory and are 9-0-2 in their last 11, having allowed just three goals over that stretch.

She finished with three saves, nonetheless.

Camryn Crawford stopped five shots in net for the fifth-seeded Barons (11-6).

“(BW) positioned themselves so well defensively,” BV coach Lucy Schmitt said. “Their goals were rockets and perfectly placed. That’s just well-coached, talented players taking advantage of an opportunity.”

BW advances to the district semifinal round and will host seventh-seeded Bishop Hartley Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Big Walnut’s Alexis Schone (15) and Buckeye Valley’s Kennedy Wirth battle for possession during the first half of Thursday’s Division II district tournament game in Sunbury.
http://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2017/10/web1_schone.jpgBig Walnut’s Alexis Schone (15) and Buckeye Valley’s Kennedy Wirth battle for possession during the first half of Thursday’s Division II district tournament game in Sunbury. Ben Stroup | Gazette

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette