GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — For the Ohio Valley Christian School soccer squad, it was a fantastic first 38 minutes and 12 seconds on Thursday.
The final 41:48 however, eh, not so much.
Leading the visiting Belpre Golden Eagles 2-1, the Defenders didn’t score for the final 45 minutes and nine seconds — and allowed Belpre to score seven unanswered goals the remainder of the way en route to an 8-2 loss on the campus of OVCS.
While Belpre is now 3-0, the Defenders fell to 0-3 — with the match against the Golden Eagles being their second against an Ohio High School Athletic Association club.
In OVCS’ opener on Aug. 23, the Defenders lost 5-1 at Rock Hill — also of the OHSAA.
The Golden Eagles amassed 39 total shots on Thursday, with three-fourths of them being on goal.
Meanwhile, the Defenders had just five shots on goal — as the overwhelming majority of the match took place deep in Belpre’s offensive third.
Wyatt Fields finished with five of the Golden Eagles’ eight goals, including the first four — followed by a pair of unassisted goals by Kellar Windland.
Windland, who had a hat trick of assists, assisted on Belpre’s final goal — by Allen Frank with 23 minutes and 45 seconds to play.
Belpre scored its game-tying and go-ahead goals just 46 seconds apart in the final two minutes of the first half, as Fields tied the match with 1:48 left — before getting the go-ahead tally at the 1:02 mark.
Fields then needed just 45 seconds into the second half to double up the Defenders, as Windland assisted on two goals — sandwiched around an assist by Kiser Windland.
Kellar Windland then made it 5-2 and 6-2 only moments later, recording unassisted markers at the 36-and-a-half and 31:41 junctures.
Fields’ fifth — and final — goal was with 29 minutes remaining, as Evan Buttermore mustered the assist.
The Golden Eagles ended the scoring only five minutes and 45 seconds later — with Frank’s footer into the net.
Ohio Valley Christian School senior goalkeeper Michael Gruber garnered 15 saves, as Belpre booted 16 corner kicks compared to none for the Defenders.
The Golden Eagles’ opening half featured 17 shots including a dozen on goal, but it wasn’t until they trailed 2-1 before they kick-started themselves.
Actually, OVCS started super-fast, making the spectators who were late, turned away or even blinked wonder what had happened.
That’s because, only a minute and five seconds in, senior Micah Sanders stunned Belpre with a goal.
After Fields’ first marker — an equalizer at the 32:15 mark and off an Andrew Curtisle cross — the Defenders took their second one-goal lead at the 5:09 point.
This one was off a penalty kick, which was taken by sophomore Justin Beaver, who beat the Belpre keeper to his lower-left.
However, the Defenders finished with only five shots on goal, resulting in a combined three saves for the pair of Golden Eagle goalies.
The Defenders returned to action on Friday at Calvary Baptist, as they host Grace Christian on Tuesday (Sept. 6) at 5 p.m.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106