Wauseon scored a pair of goals late in the first half and did a nice job of holding possession in the second, defeating Delta on the Panthers’ home field 2-0 Thursday in the regular season finale for both teams.
“Just anytime you can finish the regular season, wrap that up with a win, you don’t want to limp into the tournament especially,” said Wauseon coach Brandon Schroeder. “So I think we did what we needed to do here and the girls are excited. That’s what we really want to see at this point in the season for sure.”
For Delta, their struggles finding the back of the net continued.
“Actually, we’ve kind of had an offensive struggle all year,” admitted Delta coach John Kern. “You can’t quit. You can’t quit at all, at any point. We’ve got to play 80 minutes. And Wauseon worked hard. They went to every ball. We didn’t. A lot of times that makes a difference in the game.”
The Indians kept the ball down at Delta’s end of the field for much of the first half, leading to many opportunities.
One of their quality looks came with 13:10 remaining when Jaydelin Vasvery fed a ball to Mya Suarez on the wing. However, her boot would be gobbled up by Delta goalkeeper Courtny Helton.
The Panthers’ Cassandra Lee tried to take advantage of the Wauseon miss 55 seconds later, however, she came up short when her shot from 30 yards out was saved by Indian keeper Hannah Spadafore.
Vasvery had a shot of her own with a defender draped on her at the 10:12 mark, but Helton just got a hand on it to keep the game scoreless.
But not for long, as Vasvery struck gold off an Avery Giguere corner kick to make it 1-0 with 9:37 left. Wauseon’s Briley Rupp added a goal from inside of five feet with just 11 ticks left in the half, giving the Indians their two-goal advantage.
“It was one of those where we had good possession for the duration of that first half,” explained Schroeder. “The opportunities maybe weren’t as clean as we wanted. I don’t know if it was we were just a little timid to pull the trigger, instead of really testing them. And then that last 10 minutes we decided to get that extra step.”
The second half went pretty much the same way as the first, except that the Panther defense did not allow any goals.
“We talked to them at half and said look, seniors this is your last game on this field. You’ve got 40 minutes left what are you gonna do with it?,” said Kern. “We didn’t let them score (in the second half), but unfortunately it didn’t work for us at the other end of the field.”
And to Wauseon’s credit, they held the Panthers off the scoreboard also.
“Closing a game down the stretch, just to not lose pace, that was something that we’d been working on this week,” said Schroeder. “I think they did that. They played really with enthusiasm all throughout. They were picking each other up.”
Delta (6-8-2, 1-5 NWOAL) is at Cardinal Stritch today to begin the Division III sectional tournament. Wauseon (8-7-1, 2-4) hosts Napoleon Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the Division II tournament.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010