ROSSFORD – Archbold scored off first touch and did not stop. Tallying the first of 11 goals just 10 seconds into the game, the Bluestreaks reached the Division III boys soccer district final yet again with an 11-3 win over Liberty Center Tuesday at the Glenwood Athletic Complex in Rossford.
Trey Theobald took off and beat the Liberty Center defense to start the game. When he received the ball, he hit Josh Kidder with a touch pass and a goal 10 seconds into the game.
Kidder added a second goal and Elijah Zimmerman tacked on a goal for a 3-0 lead with 37:09 left to play in the first half.
“It’s something that we’ve focused on this whole year,” Archbold coach Sean Stewart said of jumping ahead early. “I was extremely pleased with the way we created the goals, the passing was excellent. It’s some of the most surgical passing from us this year. When we had the chance to finish, we sure didn’t miss.”
The Streaks were not close to being finished. Still inside the first 10 minutes of the half, Andrew Hogrefe added a goal when the Liberty Center keeper came out to play the ball. Hogrefe poked the ball past the prone keeper for the fourth Archbold goal of the game. Kidder followed by heading in a corner kick for a 5-0 lead with 30:32 left in the half.
Waiting three minutes to strike again, Clay Gerig struck from the left side, followed by a goal from Zimmerman to up the score to 7-0 with 26 minutes left in the half.
The Tigers did strike back to let Archbold know they were in the game. Zach Miller had a nice move by the net to score, followed by a long range goal from Jacob Hoffman, to cut the score to 7-2 with 22:11 left in the half.
Those goals, however, would be matched by the Streaks. Zimmerman finished his hat trick – plus one – with a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes of the half to make the score 9-2 at the break.
“I don’t know if we missed any shots,” said Stewart. “They were good shots – back post, low, and top of the net. Everything seemed to be clicking for us. We’ll take those games where we can get them and we hope it rolls on to the next round.”
Gerig scored his second goal of the game when he cut in from the corner and took a shot on net. Theobald finished the Archbold scoring by touching in a header with 15:35 to play.
The Tigers tallied the final goal of the night when Miller scored his second of the night inside the final 10 minutes.
Archbold will now meet either Ottawa Hills or Ottawa-Glandorf in the district final.
“We’re expecting Ottawa Hills, we’ve met them (in the district final) five of the last six years,” Stewart said of a possible opponent Saturday. “They are number one in the state and there is a reason for that. Ottawa-Glandorf has had a nice season and they are always going to be tough, physical side with some speed.”
The district final Saturday has a 3:30 p.m. start.
Reach Randy Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org