On a misty, drizzly, yet mild Monday, Oct. 19, the Miami Trace Panthers soccer team began Division II Sectional tournament action with a home game against Sheridan.
Miami Trace was the No. 16 seed and Sheridan was seeded 17th out of 18 teams.
The Panthers added to their school record with a 6-0 win over the Generals.
Miami Trace has won at least one tournament game each of the last six seasons and now nine times in 32 years.
The Panthers held a 3-0 halftime lead over the visitors.
Miami Trace out-shot the Generals, 25-5. Panther goalkeeper senior Ethan Steele had five saves.
What turned out to be the game-winning goal came just two minutes into the action, as junior Connor Bucher scored, the assist going to junior Noah Perry.
With 21:50 remaining in the first half, sophomore Blake Sollars scored with the assist from senior Matthew Webb. It was the first career goal for Sollars.
The third goal of the match came with 16:24 to play in the half. Freshman Pierce McCarty scored, with the assist from junior Hayden Hunter.
Just one minute into the second half, Bucher scored with an assist from senior Alex Smith.
With 25:17 remaining, Smith sent the ball ahead, once again to Bucher, who scored to make it 5-0.
Senior Christian Caldwell recorded his first goal of the season, unassisted, with 4:40 left on the stadium’s scoreboard clock.
Miami Trace improves its record to 3-12-1.
“Miami Trace, traditionally, has not fared well in postseason play,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said. “But, in the past six seasons, including tonight, we have won our opening round tournament game.”
Miami Trace will now prepare to play at Albany (Athens County) against the No. 1 seed Alexander Spartans Thursday at 5 p.m. The winner of that match moves on to the District semifinals to face either Logan Elm or Fairfield Union.