The Delaware Hayes girls soccer team got two goals in the first nine minutes and held off rival Buckeye Valley the rest of the way for a 2-1 non-league victory Thursday night at Cornell Stadium.

Sydney McMillin took a Maddie Smith centering feed to give the Pacers a 1-0 lead with 36:27 left in the first half.

Grace Miller broke free and scored with 30:58 left in the opening frame to give Hayes a 2-0 cushion.

“We played well as a team,” Hayes goal keeper Abby Weller said. “We could have done some things better … it’s a work in progress. We’re getting better each and every game.”

Weller made a diving stop on a Daelynn Rosser header off a Megan Hon corner kick. The ball almost trickled all the way across the goal line, but Weller stopped it in time.

“It was definitely not a goal,” Weller said. “It was on the line, but it wasn’t over. I made sure to keep it over and out.”

It was a good thing too because Hannah Cowan scored on a Kennedy Wirth centering pass that just trickled through with 0:03 left in the game to get the Barons on the board.

“(BV) attacked as well as anybody we’ve played this year, and we’ve played some good teams,” Hayes coach Bradd Smiley said. “They attacked really well, they keep you guessing and they’re very creative.”

Rosser accounted for BV’s two best scoring chances of the first half as well.

She sent one off the crossbar in the 21st minute. She also forced Weller to leap high and right to stop a shot from going in in the 33rd minute.

“She has a killer shot … she’s super strong,” BV coach Lucy Schmitt said. “If we could just get her to release a little sooner on her shot … but, give her a window and she can be deadly.”

Weller finished with nine saves for the Pacers (6-5-2).

“The defense has been playing phenomenally … they’ve stepped up the last few (games) and (Weller) directs it back there,” Smiley said. “That back line – everybody that played back there played very well.”

The win is Hayes’ fifth in the last seven games after a winless stretch of five games (0-4-1) earlier in the season.

The Pacers have outscored opponents 15-5 over that stretch, going 5-1-1.

It also marks the fourth straight victory over their rivals from BV. The Barons last won in 2013.

Cami Crawford stopped 12 shots in goal for the Barons (9-4), which had won their previous two games by a combined 18-0 margin against MOAC-foes Marion Harding and Marion Pleasant.

“Amazingly, this is the best game we’ve played all season in my opinion,” Schmitt said. “Sometimes the soccer gods smile on you and sometimes they don’t, and tonight was a night where stuff didn’t fall (our way).”

BV has been without one of its top players, Jillian Hon, who suffered a MCL injury in the win over Harding Sept. 25.

She played for a couple of minutes early in the second half, but couldn’t go any longer.

“With rehab, they’re expecting to have her back by tournament time,” Schmitt said.

Next up, both teams are back at it Tuesday night at 7:15 p.m. Hayes returns to OCC-Cardinal competition at home against Dublin Jerome and BV visits Worthington Kilbourne in non-league action.

Hayes’ Grace Miller (11) and Buckeye Valley’s Kennedy Wirth battle for possession during the first half of Thursday’s non-league showdown in Delaware.’ Grace Miller (11) and Buckeye Valley’s Kennedy Wirth battle for possession during the first half of Thursday’s non-league showdown in Delaware.

By Michael Rich

For the Gazette

Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichnotwealthy or contact him at [email protected]