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Big Red boys wake up, roll past Edison 6-1

RICHMOND — Edison delivered a wake-up call to Big Red.

The Big Red boys soccer team struck first to take an early lead, however, the Wildcats netted the equalizer less than three minutes later.

Edison’s goal woke Big Red up from its slumber as they scored to retake the lead 34 seconds later before adding three more goals before halftime en route to a 6-1 victory Thursday night at the Edison Unified Sports Complex.

“We came out flat,” Big Red (2-4-3) head coach Greg Bowers said. “We were coming off of a big game against Wheeling Park down on the Island. We shouldn’t have come out flat. We needed this win to make it to the OVACs. That was our goal coming in. We aren’t sure why we came out flat, but that goal woke us up.”

Big Red controlled the ball and the action for the majority of the match.

“I know a lot of those kids. I have known them for a long time,” first-year Edison (1-6-1) head coach Scott Montgomery said of Big Red. “I watched them play when they were young. They have a lot of talent, and they are well coached.”

Big Red outshot the Wildcats, 25-3. Big Red recorded 20 shots on goal, while Edison ended up with two.

“We expected to,” Bowers said about his team controlling the ball. “That is something we have done most of the year. We just have to put it all together in the attacking third. We have to stop having turnovers that take away opportunities to score.”

Big Red’s offensive pressure resulted in the hosts having to take 10 goal kicks, while the visitors took six. Big Red finished the match with a 9-1 advantage in corner kicks.

“They moved, they communicated and they moved without the ball,” Montgomery said. “Their movement was spectacular. They all knew what they were supposed to do. Their communication was great. I heard them talking out of the field. I heard them apologize to one another if there was a bad cross or something. They are fast.”

Jonathan Burchfield delivered a pair of goals for Big Red, and Anthony Vendetti tallied a goal and three assists to lead the way offensively for Big Red. Matt Loot and Caleb Noble each collected a goal and an assist, while John Sidoriak contributed a goal.

Lucas Esteban netted an unassisted goal for the Wildcats.

Edison used two goalies with each one playing a half. Eli Wilson started in the net, and he stopped 10 shots. Aidan Lawrence tallied four saves in the second half.

“Their forwards are quick,” Bowers said about the Wildcats. “Coach Montgomery is doing a good job. They had good movement. They are trying to build. Offensively, if they get one or two passes, they can be dangerous.”

The match was scoreless for almost 17 minutes before Big Red opened the scoring to take a 1-0 lead with 23:11 left to play before halftime.

Edison answered right back when Esteban’s shot found the back of the net knotting the score at 1 with 18:59 remaining in the first half.

“It was very important to score that goal,” Montgomery said. “Unfortunately, we did not use that momentum. We lost it almost immediately. They came right down and scored again in like 10 or 15 seconds. After that, they had all the momentum.”

The tie did not last long as Big Red regained the lead 34 seconds later, and the flood gates opened up from that point.

After Big Red took the lead at 2-1, they found the back of the net for the third time 510 later to increase their advantage to 3-1. Big Red capped the scoring in the first half by scoring a pair of goals 19 seconds apart to take a 5-1 lead at the break.

Burchfield delivered his second goal of the match with 21:32 left to play.

Montgomery said the season up to this point has gone “Not bad.”

“We have a lot of seniors. We have a couple foreign exchange students. We are trying to get everyone to play together,” he said. “It is a challenge. The kids are having fun. That is what it is all about. They are starting to gel. They are having fun. We have had some good games, and we have had some games like today. We had a bad first half.”

The game was Big Red’s first on the turf field at Edison.

“This is a beautiful complex,” Bowers said. “This is a nice turf field. We are glad we decided to start playing again.”

Thursday was the cutoff day for teams to qualify for the annual OVAC Tournament. The top four teams in Class 1A/3A and the top four teams in Class 4A make the tournament, while the top six teams in Class 5A make it. Edison entered the day in ninth place in the Class 4A standings. Big Red entered the day in 10th place in Class 5A, however, the team was able to qualify for the conference tournament due to Marietta, New Philadelphia and Warren Local all not participating in the tournament. The win against Edison enabled Big Red to jump over Parkersburg South in the standings.

Big Red will either play at Dover or at Brooke in the Class 5A Tournament Quarterfinals Monday.

The Wildcats are not scheduled to play again for two weeks as Edison will play Caldwell at 6 p.m. Sept. 30 on the road.

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