In a showdown between the last three Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls soccer champions, a pair of first half goals, then another with under two minutes to go in the contest lifted Archbold over Swanton, 3-0, Thursday at Krupitzer Field.
“I feel like we dominated play,” said Archbold assistant coach Jennifer Kidder. “We definitely played good soccer, but like, we just didn’t finish today. Couldn’t finish at all. I think we had 23 shots literally on goal, and we just struggled with finishing. We’re still feeling people out. Trying to find them in the right positions. A win is a win. And, obviously, this is a huge win for us, with it being a league game.”
The Bluestreaks had many attempts in the first half; however, most of them were turned away by Swanton freshman goalkeeper Frankie Nelson.
At the 31:42 mark of the first half, Archbold’s Addison Moyer had a look from just outside of the penalty area. She nearly lifted it over for a goal but Nelson rose up to make the save.
Then, over 12 minutes later, the Streaks were granted a penalty kick opportunity. The shot was knocked away by Nelson to keep the game scoreless.
“For a freshman goalie, that’s huge,” said Swanton coach Jim Dickman. “And she’s doing really well. She’s done really well in all the games so far.”
“Blocking a PK is huge, no matter what the circumstance is,” added Kidder. “So making that stop was huge for them.”
The Bulldog defense was crucial as well in the first half, not allowing many quality shots at the net. Most of them were hit softly or right to Nelson.
“We did a good job,” said Dickman on the play of his defense. “We are just really young. It’s just gonna come with time, because it’s different than what they’ve played before. But they’ll get it. We’ve got a long season to go yet.”
Archbold then scored two goals in the final seven minutes of the first half.
Regan Ramirez broke the tie, lofting one in from 10 yards away at the 6:18 mark. With 3:34 to play, Ramirez fed one to Moyer who cashed in for a 2-0 Bluestreak lead, which is where it would stay until late in the game.
Swanton had some opportunities after halftime, but couldn’t quite find the back of the net. Their best look came with 2:33 left to play, when Bridget Harlett challenged Archbold keeper Reagan Kohler. However, both of her attempts were stopped by Kohler.
Forty-six seconds later, Kalyn Baker put one in for the Streaks to complete the scoring.
Although it could have been described as an unimpressive win, judging by the demeanor of Kidder after the game, she feels the Streaks will eventually turn a corner.
“I think they are gonna be great,” she explained. “We’ve had some challenges already. I mean, Liberty-Benton (last Monday) was a big game for us. We are happy to come out of there with a tie. Obviously, they took us out of tournament last year to go to the final four.
“We have 10 freshmen this year. We have had a lot of open holes on the field from our seniors (graduating) last year. It was only game six for us; a lot of people are like 10 games in already. We are still learning where we are going with everyone, where people fit the best, and where they’re best for the team.”
The Streaks traveled to Ottawa-Glandorf Saturday, where they finished in a scoreless tie with the Titans. The Dogs would win at Maumee 3-0.
Swanton next hosts Delta Tuesday while Archbold welcomes Wauseon.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010