Last updated: August 19. 2014 10:45PM - 256 Views
By Michael Ullery



Piqua senior goalkeeper Grady Stewart makes a save against Springboro at Wertz Stadium on Tuesday.
Piqua senior goalkeeper Grady Stewart makes a save against Springboro at Wertz Stadium on Tuesday.
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By Rob Kiser


Call Sports Editor


rkiser@civitasmedia.com


Danny Henry knew his first game as Piqua boys soccer coach was not going to be an easy one.


And to the Indians credit, they managed to keep a talented Springboro team off the board in the first 40 minutes — led by some amazing saves by senior Grady Stewart.


But, the second half was a different story — Springboro scored four goals before the game was stopped by lightning with just over 17 minutes remaining — and eventually called.


“This was a really good game for us to start with,” Henry said after the game. “Because Springboro is one of the best — if not the best teams on our schedule.”


And the Panthers had an advantage — having one games under their belt.


Springboro had opened with defending state champion Mason on Saturday, losing 6-0.


“They had opened against the defending champions,” Henry said. “And you could tell by watching them, they already had a game under their belt.”


And while the ball stayed at the Springboro end for much of the first half, they couldn’t get a ball past Stewart — already Piqua’s career leader in saves.


And the senior proved to be in mid-season form.


One save in particular brought the crowd to their feet — for good reason.


After Stewart’s diving deflection on a point-blank shot ricocheted toward the right post, he was able to scramble and grab the ball just as it was about to roll into the Piqua goal.


“Grady has a lot of talent,” Henry said. “And he showed that. I said at the time I hope someone upstairs (in the press box) got that and sends it to ESPN — that should be on their top ten plays (on Sportscenter).”


The momentum changed early in the second half.


Springboro broke through at the 36:36 mark and added a second goal 18 seconds later.


The Panthers would add goals at the 20:59 and 17:40 mark, before lightning stopped the action.


“I think they figured out what our weaknesses were,” Henry said. “That is a very good team.”


Piqua will return to action next Tuesday, traveling to West Carrollton.


 
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