Boys soccer notes: Botkins gets big win ahead of postseason play


Sidney in contention for MVL Valley Division title

By Bryant Billing - [email protected]



Botkins’ Russell Lenhart, left, fights with Jackson Center’s Trever Huber during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins. The Trojans won 2-0 and handed the Tigers their first WOSL loss of the season.

Botkins’ Russell Lenhart, left, fights with Jackson Center’s Trever Huber during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins. The Trojans won 2-0 and handed the Tigers their first WOSL loss of the season.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour, right, dribbles as Botkins’ Reis Aselage trails during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Jack Steinke dribbles with pressure from Jackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center's Jace Mullenhour, right, dribbles as Botkins' Reis Aselage trails during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' John Ratterman dribbles during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center's senior midfielder Bryson Roberts, left, and Botkins' Noah Butcher chase after the ball during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center freshman midfielder Wyatt Wentz dribbles during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' Russell Lenhart, left, fights with Jackson Center's Trever Huber during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center's Lucas Heitkamp kicks during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center senior defender Mason Gross kicks during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Botkins' Jack Steinke dribbles with pressure from Jackson Center's Lucas Heitkamp during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.


Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

BOTKINS — Close losses have already resulted in Botkins losing its most matches since 2016. The Trojans are hoping the experience will pay off in postseason play.

They gave reason to believe the experience could play pay off on Thursday in a Western Ohio Soccer League match.

The Trojans beat rival Jackson Center 2-0 at Botkins Community Park to improve to 8-5 overall on the season. It’s the fifth win in the last six matches for the squad, which started the season with three consecutive losses.

“We started out kind of slow, a little bit on the young side this year,” Botkins coach Kevin Lynch, who picked up his 200th career win earlier this season, said. “… Our scores are getting better as the year has gone on. The kids are getting used to the mentality it takes and the physicality of the game and the speed of the game. I think we’re hitting our stride heading into the tournament.

“We start four or five sophomores, which is a lot for us. The first three games were little tough. But our nonconference schedule is pretty tough; we don’t have too many gimmes this year.”

Four of the Trojans’ losses have been by one goal, while the other was a 2-0 loss to Wapakoneta in which one of the goals was an own goal.

“We can’t go back to those other games,” Lynch said. “We just have to move forward and learn from our mistakes.”

Botkins senior goalkeeper Carson Motter stopped several Jackson Center shots in the first half on Thursday. After the Tigers had controlled the ball for most of the half, Botkins took control late, and Brant Metz sent a shot through defenders late in the half.

Botkins changed formations in the second half and missed a couple of shots early, but Rylyn Paul sent a header off a corner kick into the goal with 31 minutes left to push the lead to 2-0.

“It was a pretty nice header,” Lynch said. “Both our goals tonight were nice goals. There were no cheapies on our goals tonight. It was a well-earned victory.”

The Trojans have won seven consecutive WOSL titles — every title since finishing third in the league’s inaugural season in 2014.

That streak will likely come to an end this year. Spencerville (9-2-2, 4-0-1) is in first place, with one league game remaining against fourth-place Lima Temple Christian (3-8-3, 2-2-1), which the Trojans beat 9-0 on Sept. 19.

The Bearcats handed Botkins its first league loss since 2017 when they won a WOSL matchup 1-0 on Sept. 13 in Botkins.

Jackson Center (11-3-1, 3-1-1) was tied with Spencerville for first place in WOSL standings heading into Thursday’s matchup; the Tigers and Bearcats played to a 3-3 tie on Sept. 1 in Jackson Center.

Thursday’s loss likely means Jackson Center will finish third.

“If we’re not going to win it, it’s nice to not lose a home game against your Shelby County rival,” Lynch said. “They play hard. We knew it was going to be a physical game. We were ready to meet their mentality.

“We probably had more chances to score against Spencerville than we did tonight. We just couldn’t put it in the back of the net.”

The Trojans are scheduled to travel to Celina on Saturday, host Troy Christian on Tuesday and travel to New Knoxville on Thursday to wrap up regular-season play.

The Tigers are scheduled to wrap up regular-season play on Tuesday by traveling to Fairlawn (0-9-4).

Sidney breaks 5-game losing streak

Sidney broke a five-game losing streak by beating Lehman Catholic 3-1 on Monday, then followed it up with a 2-1 victory at West Carrollton in a Miami Valley League Valley Division game on Tuesday.

The Yellow Jackets lost 8-1 at Kettering Fairmont in a nonconference game on Thursday to drop to 5-9 overall.

The squad is tied with Xenia for first place in MVL Valley Division standings; both teams have two league games scheduled next week.

Sidney’s Graham Van Tilburgh has scored a team-high nine goals and ranks sixth among MVL players. Connor Simpson has scored seven goals and ranks eighth; he has also made a team-high six assists.

Braxton Brewer has made 87 saves and posted three shutouts.

Tournament draw on Sunday

Tournament draw meetings across Ohio are scheduled to take place this Sunday.

Voting for seeding for each sectional is being conducted online by coaches, with a deadline of Saturday. Coaches will place themselves on brackets by seed order in Sunday’s meeting.

The higher seed will host in sectional tournament games (first two rounds of tournament play), while neutral sites will be utilized for district games (rounds three and four).

Botkins’ Russell Lenhart, left, fights with Jackson Center’s Trever Huber during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins. The Trojans won 2-0 and handed the Tigers their first WOSL loss of the season.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9926-copy.jpgBotkins’ Russell Lenhart, left, fights with Jackson Center’s Trever Huber during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins. The Trojans won 2-0 and handed the Tigers their first WOSL loss of the season. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour, right, dribbles as Botkins’ Reis Aselage trails during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_0047-copy.jpgJackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour, right, dribbles as Botkins’ Reis Aselage trails during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Jack Steinke dribbles with pressure from Jackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9856-copy.jpgBotkins’ Jack Steinke dribbles with pressure from Jackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour, right, dribbles as Botkins’ Reis Aselage trails during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_0047.jpgJackson Center’s Jace Mullenhour, right, dribbles as Botkins’ Reis Aselage trails during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ John Ratterman dribbles during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9990.jpgBotkins’ John Ratterman dribbles during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center’s senior midfielder Bryson Roberts, left, and Botkins’ Noah Butcher chase after the ball during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9954.jpgJackson Center’s senior midfielder Bryson Roberts, left, and Botkins’ Noah Butcher chase after the ball during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center freshman midfielder Wyatt Wentz dribbles during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9973.jpgJackson Center freshman midfielder Wyatt Wentz dribbles during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Russell Lenhart, left, fights with Jackson Center’s Trever Huber during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9926.jpgBotkins’ Russell Lenhart, left, fights with Jackson Center’s Trever Huber during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp kicks during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9892.jpgJackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp kicks during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Jackson Center senior defender Mason Gross kicks during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9853.jpgJackson Center senior defender Mason Gross kicks during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Botkins’ Jack Steinke dribbles with pressure from Jackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/10/web1_BPB_9856.jpgBotkins’ Jack Steinke dribbles with pressure from Jackson Center’s Lucas Heitkamp during a Western Ohio Soccer League match on Thursday in Botkins.Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News
Sidney in contention for MVL Valley Division title

By Bryant Billing

[email protected]

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.

Contact Bryant Billing at (937) 538-4818, or follow @SidneyOHSports on Twitter and @BryantBillingSDN on Facebook.