MINFORD — All of the sudden, South Webster wants in on the championship discussion that is boys soccer in the Southern Ohio Conference Division II.
Thanks to Tuesday night’s outcome inside the confines of the Falcons’ Nest, the Jeeps joined that talk in a tremendous way.
That’s because the Jeeps, just seven minutes into the second half to break a scoreless tie, got the game’s only goal by Dylan Shupert —as South Webster went on to edge defending division champion Minford by a count of 1-0.
Shupert scored on one of the Jeeps’ 10 corner-kick tries, as Benaiah Andrews on the assist with the CK executed the set piece to near-perfection.
Minford had just one corner kick compared to the Jeeps, as South Webster outshot the Falcons 28-18 —including both teams nine on goal.
The Jeeps’ Jaren Lower saved all nine shots, as South Webster’s win officially made the SOC II a three-horse race.
More on that momentarily.
Wheelersburg, with a 4-0-0 mark both overall and in the SOC II, leads the league —with now Minford and South Webster just right behind the Pirates at 3-1-0.
Wheelersburg defeated South Webster 5-1 two weeks ago for the Jeeps’ only loss, as Minford hosts the Pirates in another key conference clash on Tuesday (Sept. 13).
South Webster, with a 2-2 non-league season-opening tie against Valley also mixed in, is now 4-1-1 — as the 4-1-0 Falcons fell for the first time all year.
Minford and Wheelersburg are also defending Division III Southeast District champions, and the Falcons return several experienced players.
But sometimes, all you need is one goal —and the Jeeps just got that on Tuesday night.
“This was a big win for us tonight, Minford returned the majority of their district championship team from last season where they beat us three times in a row. Some may see the score and think we squeaked by, but there is no doubt in my mind that we were the better team. The corner-kick tally was 10 to one in our favor and it was a corner kick that got Dylan Shupert the winning goal. Benaiah Andrews played the ball across the goal and Shupert knocked it home. We did that several times and it was just a matter of time before we knocked one in. Connor Bender and Benaiah both worked very well to get us those opportunities and numerous shots,” said SWHS coach Corey Claxon. “I was proud of our defense and midfield as well. They pressured well and the possession of the ball was well in our favor because of their hard work. Jaren Lower made a big save late in the game. It was an-all around great win and it showed the potential of this team.”
Of South Webster’s 28 shots, Hunter Barnard bagged seven, as Connor Bender and Wheelersburg transfer Tyler Sommer chalked up six apiece.
Sommer’s three shots on goal were a team high, followed by two each by Bender and Barnard.
Shupert’s goal was his only on-goal attempt, as Jeremiah Smith shot the other.
South Webster returns to the road, and returns to SOC II action, on Thursday at Northwest — as the host Mohawks only lost to Minford 2-1 and to Wheelersburg 2-0.
So should Northwest win at Minford and/or Wheelersburg, and depending upon the outcomes against South Webster, the Mohawks will be in the SOC II championship discussion too.
Minford returns home, and returns to SOC II play, on Tuesday against Wheelersburg at 5 p.m.
* * *
South Webster 0 1 —1
Minford 0 0 —0
SW — Dylan Shupert (Benaiah Andrews assist), 33:00, 2nd (1-0 SW)
SHOTS — South Webster 28 (9 on goal), Minford 18 (9 on goal)
SAVES —South Webster 9 (Jaren Lower), Minford 8
CORNER KICKS — South Webster 10, Minford 1
FOULS —South Webster 12, Minford 8
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