PREBLE COUNTY — Eaton’s varsity boys’ soccer team took on two familiar foes in the OHSAA Sectional Tournament. Both of their opponents are part of the SWBL’s Southwestern Division and had faced Eaton in two previous meetings this season.
The Eagles entered the tournament as the No. 4 seed and drew Valley View in their opening game. In two previous meetings this season, Eaton defeated the Spartans, 3-2, and played to a 2-2 tie.
The opening round matchup was played at Eaton on Monday, Oct. 15.
Both teams played well defensively in the first half of the match, as the score remained 0-0 at halftime. It remained scoreless until the 18:40 mark in the second half when Nate Gard scored off of a James Howard assist.
A penalty kick gave Eaton its second goal as Tyler Earley was fouled in the box and Howard converted the kick. Howard scored again later in the half, assist to Justin Lammers, to complete the scoring for Eaton. The Eagles defense was outstanding, keeping the Spartans out of the net and preserving the 3-0 win.
On Thursday, the Eagles faced another SWBL opponent, with similar results from previous meetings. Eaton traveled to Bellbrook, the No. 3 seed, to face a team they had defeated (2-1) and tied (1-1) earlier this season.
As in the previous meetings, the match stayed close and goals were limited. In the end, Bellbrook scored the only goal of the match early in the second half and took a 1-0 win.
Bellbrook was scheduled to face No. 1 seed Alter on Monday, Oct. 20.
The loss ended the Eagles’ season and put them at 10-4-4 overall, 6-3-3 in the SWBL. The season included a 12-game unbeaten streak (9-0-3). The season also included several key wins against some of the area’s top soccer programs, including Bellbrook, Oakwood and Talawanda.
Eaton’s six divisional wins tied them for third (Oakwood) in the SWBL Southwestern Division. Monroe topped the standing with an 8-0-4 record, followed by Bellbrook at 7-1-4. Eaton’s win over Bellbrook kept the Golden Eagles from sharing the league title with Monroe.
In Division III, No. 27 seed Preble Shawnee lost to No. 8 Greenon 9-0 on Oct. 15. Shawnee ended the year 0-15-1.
No. 19 seed Tri-County North suffered an 8-0 loss to No. 11 Miami Valley and No. 21 Twin Valley South lost 5-1 to No. 17 Jackson Center on Thursday, Oct. 18.