Micah Geise
Brock Netter

Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.) and the Vinton-Jackson Courier. He's a two-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Unioto grabs 10th win with shutout of Lynchburg-Clay

The Shermans improve to 10-1.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

CHILLICOTHE — Nearly three weeks ago, Unioto lost a non-league match to Athens. 

Unioto’s Cameron Thompson helped the Shermans’ defense pitch a shutout on Wednesday.
CREDIT: Marissa Spradlin/SOSA

That loss still sticks in the Shermans’ crawl. Since then, the team has mixed some things up and has been on a mission to not have to experience that feeling again. 

After a few missed opportunities in the first half on Wednesday, the Shermans (10-1) managed to break through and connect with the net twice in the second half to earn a 2-0 victory over Lynchburg-Clay.

“I think there’s times we focus too much on what we accomplished last season, but we’re not at that point,” Unioto coach Freddy Cortez said. “The second half was a small glimpse of where this team could be and if we continue to play like that, we can get [back] to that point. But we have to build better habits as a unit to reach our goals.” 

It marked the fifth straight victory for the Shermans (10-1), who are slowly feeling like everything is coming together at the right time. 

“We’re slowly finding our identity as a team, and our young guys who have been playing due to some injuries are beginning to catch up,” Cortez said. “There’s still some things like our conditioning that can be better and our communication needs to be better. It’s getting better on the back end, so the small improvements are there. But we’ve made a lot of progress.”

While both teams managed to get shots off, the Shermans managed to take their shots from a much closer range. The problem was that they couldn’t get past Lynchburg-Clay goalkeeper Kyle Bennington, who made three score-stopping saves to keep the game 0-0 at halftime. 

“I felt like we dominated the first half, but just couldn’t execute in the final 18,” Cortez said. “Lynchburg-Clay is a really good team, and we had an idea of how they wanted to play. But it’s our goal to make them play our game. Quick passes, long balls, we can play any style. We have the playmakers to do so. Still have to execute, though.” 

With how dangerous and quick the Shermans are, it was only a matter of time before they found an opening.

Less than three minutes into the second half, and after Unioto whiffed on a couple kicks inside the box, somehow the ball ended up at the feet of Lucas Hanes. He put it in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Later in the half, Emilio Cruz had possession of the ball and made his way into Mustang territory. He turned and fired a perfect pass right to Hanes, who netted his second goal of the game to put the win on ice. 

“Our second half was great. I’m not exactly sure what flipped for us, but we looked much better,” Cortez said. “Last year, these guys said they were a second half team, which is not a bad thing at all. But we’re working to be an 80-minute team. I know these guys understand that and they’re putting the time in to become a more complete team. We still had some missed opportunities, but we’ll take the win.” 

Bennington finished with eight saves for the Mustangs, while Micah Geise had five saves for Unioto.

The Shermans return to action on Monday in non-conference action at North Adams while Lynchburg-Clay travels to play at South Webster on Saturday. 


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