Wauseon has had some close, lower scoring games as of late, however, they broke out on Thursday against Evergreen en route to a 6-1 home win in Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys soccer.
“It’s like, we were getting right there at the goal, having great opportunities, and we were not producing,” said head coach Casey Elson on some of his team’s offensive struggles lately. “And I told the boys, a lot of people in this league kind of look at us, it’s kind of weird, but like the underdog. Even coming in as (defending) league champs. So we kind of wanted to come out and be like, you know we’re still here and we’re still a pretty good team. I think tonight kind of showed that.”
The Indians took a 1-0 lead 3:15 in by way of Manuel Gante who slammed home a second-chance opportunity after Evergreen goalkeeper Jon Burnep came out to stop the initial attempt.
Evergreen’s Riley Dunbar nearly tied it up at the 32:16 mark but he couldn’t get a quality shot off on a ball in front of the net.
Wauseon looked to cash in on a penalty kick opportunity after Eli Delgado was fouled with 27:50 left in the first half. However, Burnep stopped Benicio Torres’ attempt and a rebound attempt that followed to keep the score the same.
The Vikings tied it at 1-1 as a shot by Konnor Sanford, with some help from the wind, made its way into the net at the 20:05 mark.
Wauseon recaptured the lead nearly 10 minutes later on the first of three goals by Delgado. He got another with 2:11 before half, juking out Burnep prior to firing it in from the right side and making it a 3-1 difference.
“I had told him, the keeper (Burnep) is a heck of a goalie. He even made some great saves today. And you know I had said, ‘you’re gonna have to try dodging him, because he’s really coming after you.’ And I thought he (Delgado) made just a nice one-touch to it. A great finish on his part,” said Elson.
The Indians kept the pedal to the metal in the second half. They controlled possession and were able to tack on three more goals.
The first score after the break came exactly a minute in, a missile from the left side off the foot of Gavin Gerig.
Later, Delgado completed his hat trick performance as his goal with 12:03 remaining put the Indians ahead 5-1. Closing out the scoring was Gante with Torres adding the assist.
“With these guys, it’s kind of funny to say, but everyone wants to score a goal,” admitted Elson. “At halftime we said, if you want to win you’re gonna have to keep scoring. We’re not the greatest defensive team, but, you know, you got to keep on it. I thought they did an awesome job in the second half, really controlling the ball and putting some goals away for us.”
Wauseon travels to Swanton on Tuesday while Evergreen visits Bryan.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.