By Josh Brown
TROY — Had the Troy Christian boys soccer team been able to knock off eventual state champion Summit Country Day in last year’s regional final, they would have played a state semifinal match against Columbus Grandview Heights.
This year, the Eagles began the season seeing what could have been.
The Eagles (1-0) blanked the Bobcats Saturday night in their season opener at home, turning in a dominant defensive performance in a 3-0 victory Saturday night at Eagle Stadium.
Offensively, Jalen Hudgins — who was the Greater Western Ohio Conference American North Division’s second-leading scorer with 17 goals and 38 total points for Sidney last year as a sophomore — scored a pair of goals in his debut for Troy Christian, while Connor Peters added a goal and an assist and Grant Conklin had an assist.
“Huge game by our back four of Sam Mathews, Chas Schemmel, Jake Ronicker and Ty Davis,” Troy Christian coach Ryan Zeman said. “And a stellar game by goalkeeper Jackson Kremer with nine huge saves.”
Troy Christian travels to Celina Monday.
Miami East 1
CASSTOWN — Miami East opened the season with a tough matchup against Botkins Saturday, falling 2-1.
Conner Wilson put the Vikings (0-1) on top late in the first half on an assist from Jakob Brunke, but Botkins was able to fight back and hold off East’s offense the rest of the way.
“We did almost everything right with the exception of finishing,” Miami East coach Nakilee Weni said. “We had a decent first half, finding the back of the net with nine minutes left in the half. We had multiple chances after that but weren’t able to add to the first-half score, and unfortunately, we let our guard down and Botkins capitalized on two of the few chances they had and held on to win.”
Miami East hosts Northwestern Wednesday.
* Girls Soccer
TIPP CITY — The Tippecanoe girls soccer team scored the first official victory on Tipp City Park’s new turf field Saturday night, shutting out visiting Fairmont 3-0 in the season opener.
Jackie Bashore started the scoring with an assist from Makayla Stallard, then Hannah Rittenhouse added a pair of insurance goals.
Tippecanoe hosts Xenia Wednesday.
HBER HEIGHTS — Milton-Union fell behind by two goals in Saturday night’s season opener at Wayne, but the Bulldogs fought back to claim a 3-2 victory.
Kristen Dickison got the Bulldogs (1-0) on the board on an assist from Hallie Berberich, then Madelyn Johnson tied the score with an assist from Morgan Grudich. Grudich then put home the game winner on a feed from Dickison, and the Bulldogs held on from there.
Milton-Union hosts Brookville Tuesday.
Other scores: Lehman (1-0) 8, Catholic Central 2.
* Cross Country
HEBRON — Bethel’s boys and girls cross country teams ran at the OHSAA Early Season Invitational Saturday at National Trail Raceway in Hebron, with the boys finishing 12th in the Division II-III race with 330 points.
Trent Sweikhardt finished 48th (19.06.5) to lead the boys, followed by Kaleb Roberts in 57th (19:31.5), Colton Smith in 69th (20:11.4), Keaton Smith in 80th (20:34.1) and Wyatt Leet in 111th (21:28.6).
The girls began the race with a full team, but a runner was hurt and did not finish. Kaitlyn Balkcom led the Bees in 92nd (25:24.5), Kylie Balkcom was 85th (25:29.5), Maddie Spaeth was 93rd (25:56.5) and Lisa Sebastian was 104th (26:51).
Bethel runs in the Bob Schul Invitational Saturday at Milton-Union.
TIPP CITY — The Lehman tennis team finished fourth at the Schroeder Invitational Saturday at Schroeder Tennis Center, scoring 26 points. Chaminade Julienne won with 38.
At second singles, Sarah Gibson placed second. At third singles, Angela Brunner placed second. At first singles, Claire Larger placed fourth. At second doubles, Shannon Staley and Brieanna Werling placed fourth. At first doubles, Kiera Burns and Ann Pennaparra finished seventh.
“Very good day for our team in a strong tournament,” Lehman coach Tim Ungericht said. “Great for their confidence moving forward in our season. We were a little down with the 0-4 start against a tough schedule and needed a good day as a boost, and we got it.”
SIDNEY — The Lehman volleyball team swept Butler to open the season Saturday at home, winning 25-10, 26-24, 25-23.
Lauren McFarland had 11 kills and five digs, Alexis Snipes had 22 assists and nine digs, Olivia Lucia had eight kills, six digs and three blocks, Reese Geise had seven kills and Heidi Schutt had three aces and five digs.
Lehman (1-0) travels to Catholic Central Monday.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.