The Fairmont Firebirds lost 5-0 to the Elks of Centerville High School. The Elks, undefeated on the season, are ranked fifth in Ohio among Division 1 schools.
Knowing they would be spending much of the match without the ball, the Firebirds played a high defensive line, for the purposes of minimizing space between lines, and trying to catch the Centerville attack in offsides positions. For much of the first half, the strategy worked. The Elks had limited chances from dangerous positions, with center backs Sam Fiscus and Dominic Lander-Boullis quashing serious threats in the Fairmont penalty area. The Firebirds kept Centerville off the scoreboard until conceding a penalty kick in the 35th minute.
Senior goalkeeper Ace Uhrig had to come up big to keep Fairmont close, including several cross-goal shots, and one-on-one’s with Centerville strikers. He ended the night with a career high 11 saves.
Centerville put in four more goals in the second half, including another from the penalty spot. The Firebirds managed a few shots on goal, mostly late in the second half, but did not test the Elks’ goalkeeper.
When Fairmont played the ball into their attacking third, senior midfielder Nik Aregood and junior striker Nic Enciso applied enthusiastic pressure, but could not force an advantageous turnover. For much of the match, the Firebirds must have felt like the men in the middle of a game of rondo.
The Firebirds will resume the lightning-interrupted match at Fairmont Park vs. Miamisburg on Saturday, October 3, at 2:00 pm. The next full match is also at Fairmont Park, when the Firebirds will look to level the season tie against Wayne High School. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:15 pm.