TOLEDO – In what was a defensive struggle early on, the Archbold boys soccer team settled down after the first 20 minutes and went onto rout Maumee Valley Country Day, 6-0, Tuesday night in the Division III district semifinal at Ottawa Hills. The shutout was the Streaks 15th of the season.
“We talked about that, trying to dominate possession early,” said Archbold coach Sean Stewart of his squad’s offensive success. “I think we did a pretty good job of it. We didn’t really have the finishing touch early on, but we certainly dominated the game. And kept their danger players off the ball.”
The Blue Streaks had some luck on their side with their first goal. After Jeremy Lerma was tackled in MVCD’s penalty area, his penalty shot was right at MVCD goalkeeper Jacob Greenbaum, but the force put on the kick allowed it to trickle into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead at the 22:40 mark of the first half.
“You’ve got to be lucky sometimes. You never get upset about luck,” said Stewart of Lerma’s penalty kick. “That was important for us, just to kind of break the ice and then we were able to break things open from there.”
A little over five minutes later, Kaiden Bedsole got a touch on a pass from midfield, waited for a Hawk defender to over run the play and scored to make it 2-0.
The two-goal Archbold advantage was then increased to three with 25:30 left in the second half when Bedsole lofted a pass at midfield to A.J. Short who hammered it home.
“That was a real high class ball. And the touch and finish was high class as well,” said Stewart.
The Streaks scored on Lerma’s corner kick at the 23:12 mark of the second half when Denver Beck cashed in off a rebound to make it 4-0. However, they did not take their foot off the gas as Short added a goal with 21:35 left and Jack Fisher another off an assist from Josh Kidder with 19:10 to go to equal the final tally.
Archbold will now take on Ottawa Hills on Saturday in the district final as the Green Bears shut out Lake 5-0 in the other semifinal. Action is set for 1 p.m.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010