Evergreen built a 3-0 second half lead, then breathed a sigh of relief after having to stave off a Wauseon rally in the final minute and 20 seconds, defeating the Indians 3-2 in Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls soccer Tuesday at Wauseon.
“We did a nice job possessing the ball and we could move it around. The unfortunate part of our offense tonight was the finish,” said Evergreen coach Josh Radel of the game. “For some reason the girls couldn’t find the back of the net in the first half. We had plenty of shots and the Wauseon keeper did make some nice saves, but overall, we were off target.”
After missing out on several opportunities in the first half, the Vikings finally struck gold in the first minute of half number two.
Sydney Woodring, who briefly exited the game in the first half with an injury, orchestrated a breakaway. She took the ball past a Wauseon defender to the left side of the goal where she fired it back into the right-corner of the net for a 1-0 Viking lead.
Raegan Radel had a corner kick around the 27 minute mark of the second half for the Vikings. The ball eventually found its way back to Radel who fired a shot that went off the crossbar, then Woodring headed it in off the rebound to make it 2-0 with 26:58 to play.
“Sydney is a resilient player and I knew if the trainer didn’t keep her out, she would go back in. Once we knew she was a go, we decided to mix a few things up and the plan worked and we were able to capitalize on a through ball. Later she finished up a nice set piece off a corner,” said coach Radel of Woodring’s night.
Wauseon replaced goalkeepers after the play, switching in Ellie Rodriguez for Marie Hutchinson as Hutchinson was dealing with some pain.
Shortly after, with 23:45 left, Evergreen’s Kenzie Mitchey put one on net that slipped past Rodriguez to make it 3-0.
Then with the game seemingly in hand, coach Radel elected to get some of his starters out. It led to a pair of Wauseon goals in the final 1:20.
First, Kadence Carroll sent a right-to-left cross that found the body of Kya Foote who redirected it in with 1:17 remaining. With only 26 seconds left, Carroll was fouled in the penalty area and Rylee Vasvery converted the PK to make it a one-goal game.
Radel then subbed some players back in and the Vikings were able to finish.
“With about 15 minutes to go I thought it would be in our team’s best interest to get some starters out to avoid any unnecessary injuries and to allow some of the other players some quality game time. With that, Wauseon took full advantage and put a few in the back of the net,” explained Radel.
Evergreen improved to 2-1 in the NWOAL with the win. Wauseon fell to 0-2.
“It was a difficult night for us offensively because we were a bit shorthanded, having a few starters unavailable for this contest, so we had to spread the attacking experience that we did have around into other areas of the field and ask those girls to play roles they were a bit unaccustomed to,” said Wauseon coach Brandon Schroeder. “This really showed the character of this team — they are eager to play for each other and the girls filled in nicely, focusing on doing the simple things well, and that resulted in some positive plays that gave us some good opportunities.”
The Vikings are at Northwood on Thursday while the Indians’ next match is Monday, Sept. 28 versus Liberty Center at Widewater Retreat Center.