Champion stays perfect with 8-2 win at Springfield

NEW MIDDLETOWN — Champion might be the Golden Flashes, but the team is red hot.

After Springfield scored two goals in the span of three minutes to tie the game back up at 2-all, Champion put its foot on the gas and powered its way to an 8-2 victory.

“We knew this was going to be a battle,” Champion coach Emily Metheny said. “We expected there to be goals scored on us. I’m really proud that we’ve been overcoming anything that stands in our way, and we’ve been smart. We play as one, and we were able to do that. You could see us picking up one another after those two quick goals, and just coming out on top, I’m really proud of these girls for working hard.”

The Flashes came out of the gate with authority. Just over three minutes into the contest, Maylee Nadaud put Champion on the board with her first goal of the night.

Grayson Knoske, who had a hat trick, scored the game’s second goal.

That’s when the Tigers responded.

Over the next three minutes, a hot Champion start was quickly stalled to a halt, with Springfield’s Kristina Vecchione and Emma Sanders each netting a goal to lock the game back up at 2-2.

The Flashes rallied back as Knoske and Taylor Kuhn each scored to close out the first half and go into the break with the lead again.

Losing that lead only energized Champion more.

“I think that we just took that as like a fire. I think it just really burnt inside of us and gave us the motivation to come back even harder, even harder than they were,” senior captain Mia Nadaud said. “I know they were excited for those two goals, and I know that it motivated us even more than it motivated them.”

That “never back down” attitude has been so obvious throughout Champion’s (13-0-0) season.

Whatever obstacles are in their way, the Flashes find a way to stomp it out and recover even stronger.

“They have a drive, this group of girls,” Metheny said. “You can just see within them that they have a burning fire. They’re hungry. They want to come out and really just prove to everybody what Champion soccer is.”

Whenever there’s an opportunity to take advantage of, Champion is there. And they made that apparent in the second half, turning a 4-2 advantage into the 8-2 victory.

“I think that as a team that we always talk about never wanting to waste anything because you never know what’s going to happen,” Nadaud said. “Every second is an opportunity to make a change in the game.”

That next opportunity comes Monday as the Flashes host Waterloo.

“We really need to stick together and study the mistakes we made today and improve on those moving forward,” Metheny said. “Each game’s a new day, so we’ve got to come out hard.”

Springfield (7-3-3) looks to recover on the road against Newton Falls.



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