MILLBURY — Sandusky Perkins had the ball bounce their way on a pair of goals and Wauseon wasn’t able to connect on its opportunities in a 2-0 win for the Pirates in a Division III boys soccer district final at Lake High School Thursday.
Perkins struck first at the 23:08 mark of the first half. On a ball played deep on the left side, Ben Schaefer was able to sneak it past Wauseon goalkeeper Joel Gray to go up 1-0.
The Indians’ Benicio Torres was awarded a free kick from 15 yards out on the left side, but Perkins goalkeeper Noah Normington-Slay was able to punch it away with 21:50 before half.
Then the Pirates added to their lead on Mark Zokle’s putback of a shot off the right post at the 7:44 mark.
“Even the second one I thought, it bounces off the post and I’m telling you, most of the time when it bounces off the post you don’t ever get that second chance where it bounces back to you,” said Wauseon Coach Casey Elson of luck being on the Pirates’ side. “Sometimes the ball bounces your way, sometimes it doesn’t. Tonight it did not bounce our way.”
Wauseon did its best to get on the board in the second half but could not.
One of their chances down the stretch was created by Torres and Braden Vajen. At the 20:25 mark, Torres passed a ball up to Vajen that was turned away by Normington-Slay.
Then in the final 3:20, it was Vajen setting up Manny Gante with a right-to-left centering pass, but Normington-Slay again punched it away.
“Their back line did a really good job of kind of preventing our through balls,” said Elson of the Perkins defense making it tough. “We had good opportunities (down the stretch). I thought a couple times even the goalie came out and he had a good save on it. The game of soccer is always funny. Sometimes it’s not about who possesses the ball the most, but who can find the back of the net. I thought they did a great job at the two early goals they had.”
Regardless of the outcome, the Wauseon program took another step forward this year in reaching the district final. They finish with a 12-4-3 record.
“When I started coaching here, we weren’t the greatest program,” admitted Elson. “But, I have some young boys that I really wanted to come up and be a part of this program. And I think the younger kids, and even the older ones, have done a great job paving the way. Now I really think that people around this area are starting to see that Wauseon’s a very good soccer program. That’s really all you can ask for out of the kids that play for you.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.