VANDALIA — Aviator junior Terrance Engle, the team’s leading scorer, played like a man possessed Saturday during Butler’s semifinal sectional game against Northmont.
Engle scored two early goals to help lead Butler to a 3-0 victory over the Thunderbolts. Butler advances to face Centerville (12-3-3) in the sectional final Tuesday at Xenia at 7 p.m. Butler improves to 16-1-0 while Northmont ends its season at 5-11-2.
In a driving rain Engle hustled hard and made it a point to be around the ball slicing through the Northmont defense intent on attacking the goal at-will. Engle’s hustle paid off as he scored the first goal of the night three minutes and 25 seconds into the match to give the Aviators an early 1-0 lead.
A minute and 32 seconds later Engle found the back of the net again to put Butler up 2-0. For the remainder of the first half the Aviators played ball control and dominated possession to hold the 2-0 lead at halftime.
“It’s always nice to start out with one goal to give yourself some breathing room and when you start off with two that early, it kind of takes the pressure off a little bit,” said Butler Coach Steve Doring. “Our guys understood that and changed the game plan a little bit and played more possession as opposed to the opportunity to score, and we just kind of maintained that the rest of the way.”
Doring also recognized Engle for his leadership as the team’s top scorer.
“I think his two goals tonight gives him 20 for the year. He is a dangerous player. He’s got pace and he can finish around the box,” Doring added.
Northmont just couldn’t get any offense generated against Butler’s ball control tactics. The Thunderbolts made a few runs at the goal, but for the most part those threats were few and far between.
“We talked all week long about how we had to mark Engle, but we let him loose and he scored two quick goals and after that we had our backs against the wall,” said Northmont Coach Jim Oberer. “We just didn’t have any offense tonight and didn’t generate many shots. The kids played hard. They didn’t give up and I am proud of all of them. We got all of our seniors in there the last 20 minutes and they did great.”
Zach Burgmeier scored the final goal of the night with 2:14 remaining on a direct kick. He kicked the ball without any signal from the field official and caught Northmont off guard. The ball sailed past Northmont’s defense and cleanly into the net.
“That last goal our kids were getting ready but Butler’s kid shot it and they let him have it, so that shouldn’t have happened,” Oberer added. “But the Butler kids deserve the win. They are a good team and they have a great coach and they work their butts off. They have a lot of seniors and we had four sophomores starting tonight, so we have a lot to look forward to. We just have to keep working hard and success will come our way.”
Butler senior Jack Spoltman prepares to settle the ball.
Senior Nathan Weber moves the ball across midfield as Northmont’s Dylan Beck (left) and Noah Teague attempt to defend.
Ed Lauterbach receives a pass as Northmont’s Tanner Yingling defends.
Andrew Eifort fights his way past Northmont defender Kellen Oshea.
Matt Parker goes all out to get the ball past a Northmont defender.
Erik King thwarts a shot by Northmont’s Austin Bellar.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124 or follow him on Twitter at Englewood_Ind