BATH TOWNSHIP — Bath goalkeeper Brenton Brock and his defense stood up to the challenge all night.
But it was Bath defender Nate Adams who made the save of the night.
Adams stopped a close-in shot on the goal line with 22 minutes to go to help Bath post a 1-0 victory over Continental to win the boys soccer Bath Kickoff Classic on Thursday night.
“They got the job done and the effort was the best I’ve seen it in a long time,” Bath coach David Briggs said.
In the consolation game of the tournament, Lima Central Catholic knocked off Paulding 5-0.
Bath is 2-0, while Continental is 1-1.
Bath’s goal came off a rebound shot by Armando Garcia with 27:57 to play.
Bath’s Zach Garza had the first shot from 12-yards out, but the shot came off a defender and ended up on the foot of Garza, who was just outside the goal box, 7-yards out.
Garcia immediately pounded the shot home and Bath had its 1-0 lead.
“It was a team effort,” Garcia said. “Garza ran down the line and crossed it in and I just hit it in.’’
Added Briggs, “We preach to our guys to follow their shots and that’s what he did.’’
But it was far from over.
Bath’s defense, led by center defenders Robert Mooney and Adams and goalkeeper Brock continually turned away the Pirates down the stretch.
With 22 minutes to go, Continental took a shot and it was stopped, but not controlled by Brock.
The ball got loose and ended up on a Pirates’ foot just outside the goal box.
The shot came from 7-yards out and was rejected by Adams’ foot at the goal line.
“They were all over us,” Adams said. “The ball came in and I saw (goalkeeper) Brenton (Brock) grab it, but it fell out of his hands and I knew I had to get back there or it was going to be a goal.
“I was a foot away from the line. I got it with my left foot and just kicked it out.’’
Added Briggs, “Sometimes it’s your keeper and sometimes it’s your backs. Tonight our center backs got the job done.’’
Mooney made eight stop-and-clears on the night.
Brock finished with 10 saves.
The Pirates outshot Bath 15-7.
Continental goalkeeper Trevor Brecht had four saves.
Bath had a strong passing and possession game most of the night.
Briggs felt that was the key.
“Our possession was there tonight,” he said.
LCC 5, Paulding 0
Lima Central Catholic forward Trey Horstman had four goals, all in the second half to power the T-Birds to a win in the consolation match of the tournament over Paulding
The match was scoreless at the half before the T-Birds took control of the midfield in the second half.
“We started getting passes together and working it up the field (in the second half),” LCC coach Tim McNamara said. “We picked up the intensity.’’
The match was stopped for at least 30 minutes at the 19:46 mark of the first half when LCC midfielder Josiah Simpson went high for a header around midfield. He lost his balance and went flying through the air head over heels.
Simpson came down hard and landed on his lower back and upper neck. He briefly got to his feet, but was put back on the ground by the trainer. A Bath ambulance was called and he was taken off the field on a stretcher.
Bath officials later said Simpson suffered an L-1 fracture and is expected to miss at least a few weeks.
Simpson is expected to be able to resume playing with his team after his recovery.
“Josiah is a key player for us,” McNamara said. “He’s a talented player on the field and is a leader on our team.’’
LCC outshot Paulding 31-9.
Phil Venturella scored for LCC off a corner kick by Nathan Davisson.
LCC is 1-2. Paulding is 0-3.