A strong defensive performance in the second half enabled Wauseon to tie the game at the other end, then Eli Delgado’s goal nearly three minutes into the overtime session gave the Indians a 2-1 victory over Lake in a Division II boys soccer sectional semifinal Monday in Wauseon.
Chase Soltis got the play started in overtime working in from the right side. He then slipped the pass through to Delgado who put it in from the left side at the 12:03 mark of the extra period.
“Chase, he’s a heck of a player,” said Wauseon coach Casey Elson, speaking on the game-winning goal. “He’s played my middle mid for the two years I’ve been here. And he’s been one of my number one ball-handlers. He handed it very well, he gave it to the back side (to Delgado). That’s what we call a ‘garbage goal.’ We missed it like probably three or four times in that second half. And I said ‘if we just get there guys we’re gonna put one in.’ It ended up going our way.”
Down 1-0 at halftime, Wauseon showed a sense of urgency in the second half.
They nearly scored with 26:35 to go on a ball in front that Ethan Glover almost got to, but the Lake goalkeeper beat him to it.
Then, just over a minute later when Jameson Gray was awarded a free kick from roughly 35 yards out, it found the head of Brandon Martinez who was charging the net to tie the game at 1-1.
“Brandon, he’s my senior. He doesn’t start. But I give him good minutes and every time he comes out he busts his tail off. And he told me you know, ‘if you can give me a chance coach I’ll go and I’ll head the ball in.’ And we have been working on our pass plays there and the heading in. He did a heck of a job finishing it for us,” said Elson.
Even the Wauseon coaches and players would admit, Lake (7-9-1) had better possessions in the first half. It resulted in a penalty kick opportunity that Emilio Ignat finished just 6:37 into the contest, putting the Flyers on top 1-0.
Delgado nearly tied it on a pass from J.T. Hutchinson with 7:37 remaining in the half, but the Lake keeper lept and punched it away. Keegan Waxler and Delgado had a couple other quality chances in the half that couldn’t quite connect, keeping the difference at one goal at the half.
“In the first half I thought they (Lake) did a very good job of holding the ball and keeping it kind of on our side,” said Elson. “I told our midfielders, I really challenged them in the second half and told them ‘you guys are the more conditioned midfield and you guys need to show that.’ They came out and they really showed it. We didn’t even give up a shot in the second half and that was very huge for us.”
Wauseon (10-2-5) next visits Bryan Thursday at 5 p.m. for a sectional championship. The Indians and Golden Bears finished in a scoreless tie in their regular season matchup back on Aug. 20.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010