Cailynn Bash
John Bruce

John Bruce

Shermans blank Devils in key non-conference match

The Shermans pitched their second consecutive shutout in the victory.

John Bruce, Contributor

CHILLICOTHE — In a clash behind two top-tier girls soccer programs in Southern Ohio, Unioto mixed timely offense with elite defense to win a key non-league match over visiting North Adams on Wednesday.

Unioto’s Roxi Storts-Berio chases a pass during Wednesday’s 2-0 win over North Adams.
CREDIT: Derrick Webb/SOSA

The Shermans (3-1) got out to a quick start when Autumn Stanger connected with freshman Reghan Bee for the opening goal, less than 14 minutes into the game. Bee, fresh off the bench, scored on her first touch of the match when Stanger sent in a cross from the left side that Bee placed into the side netting for an ideal start.

The Green Devils (2-2) would not be deterred, with an offense focusing on through-balls to a racing Hunter Grooms, who was able to get a cracking shot off from near the top of the box. However, Unioto goalkeeper Maya Free was able to calmly corral the shot to ruin the Devils’ best scoring opportunity of the opening half. 

Throughout the remainder of the first 40 minutes, neither team was able to get a great look at the goal — mostly due to the outstanding defense being played on both sides. Unioto, led by seniors Jaidyn McKell and Elle Pelletier, along with Cailynn Bash, Amelia Uhrig and Ryleigh Bode, has continued its tradition of elite defense. 

The Tanks’ backline kept the Green Devils’ attack at bay, only allowing two shots in the entire first half, both saved by Free. 

North Adams has a dandy backline of their own, anchored by junior Laney Ruckel, Sydney Figgins and Jaida Mason. The Shermans were unable to mount a serious threat for the remainder of the half due to their defensive effort. 

On the odd chance that a shot was on target, sophomore goalkeeper Harlee Brand was there to make the save, ending her night with seven to her credit.

With a 1-0 scoreline at halftime, it was obvious the Shermans were going to need to come up with some offense to ease the pressure on their defense. 

Enter Autumn Stanger. 

Less than one minute into the second half, Ashtyn Miller threaded a pass ahead to Stanger, who fought off two defenders to get the ball onto her right foot. The junior smoothly slotted the ball into the back of the net to give the Shermans a 2-0 lead, which would also be the final score. 

The Green Devils were only able to have one outstanding chance with 13 minutes left. Ainsley Grooms played a ball ahead to Kenlie Jones, who was able to get away from a charging Free and appeared to have an open lane to the goal. That’s when Bode came on from her left side and rushed a shot that just hit off the right post to keep the shutout intact. 

The remainder of the second half featured the Shermans’ midfield of Avery Miller, Gracie Heath, Roxi Storts-Berio, Maddie Walter, Micah Hagan, Karlee Renner, and Stanger maintaining possession and keeping the Green Devils’ momentum free to cruise to the 2-0 victory. 

On the night, Unioto’s Maya Free, only a freshman, collected six saves for her second consecutive shutout. 

The Shermans next travel to unbeaten Marietta on Saturday night while the Green Devils will host Ripley on Friday.

Scoring Summary

1st Half

26:07 — Reghan Bee (3rd), assist by Autumn Stanger (2nd)

2nd Half

39:05 — Stanger (2nd), assist by Ashtyn Miller (2nd)

Statbook

Shots: Unioto 13, North Adams 7

Shots on Goal: Unioto 9, North Adams 6

Fouls: Unioto 9, North Adams 4

Offsides: Unioto 2, North Adams 1

Corners: Unioto 1, North Adams 4

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