Some fans attending Tuesday’s Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys soccer match between Bryan and Wauseon probably were experiencing deja vu after the game, as the result was eerily similar to last year. While in the 2018 contest – also a league opener – the Indians and Golden Bears ended in a 1-1 tie, this year the outcome was a scoreless tie.
“I feel like we’re both pretty heavily senior led. And I think it really showed out here,” said Wauseon coach Casey Elson after the game. “It was a pretty competitive game and I thought both teams had great opportunities. Just neither one of us could capitalize. I think that’s a big compliment on our defensive sides too. I think we’re both really good defensive teams.”
Bryan’s Brendan Reiser had a pair of shots on goal in the game’s first 11 minutes that were turned a way, including one that just missed high hitting the crossbar.
Wauseon had a chance with 16:20 to go in the half when Chase Soltis centered one to Brandon Martinez, however, the shot pushed right of the net.
At the 12:25 mark, Bryan’s Keghan Pettit put one on net from about 15 yards away, leading to a diving save from Wauseon goalkeeper Easton Delgado.
“I can’t think of enough nice words to say about the kid. He’s a great kid,” stated Elson of Delgado. “And he comes in every practice and works his butt off. I mean as you guys can tell, he saved us so many times (tonight). It’s very special to watch a kid out there play as good a goalie as he does.”
The Indians changed some things up at halftime which helped them create more opportunities, especially early on.
Jacob Hageman was able to put a header on net for the Indians, but the Bears’ Isaac Lamore made the save to keep it scoreless 4:27 into the second half.
Not even four minutes later, Wauseon’s Eli Delgado broke away down the right sideline creating a shot opportunity that was punched away by Lamore.
“I felt like their middle midfielder, he did a heck of a job. That (Reese) Jackson kid. A big guy, he did a good job defensively,” said Elson. “Second half we tried to control the middle a little bit more. Because we noticed we were kind of giving up a lot there in the middle. So I thought we did a better job at kind of controlling the middle a little more that second half.”
However, the ball was mostly down near the Wauseon goal for the final 20 minutes. This forced the Indian defense to step up, which they did.
Wauseon is at home again when they welcome Lake Saturday beginning at 11 a.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010