At times Wauseon’s goals came far apart, while other times the Liberty Center goalkeeper could barely catch his breath before another ball was sailing into the back of the net as the Indians opened the Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys soccer slate with an 8-1 win over the visiting Tigers Tuesday.
Through two games, Wauseon has outscored their opponents 20-1.
“I felt like during the Rossford game (Saturday) we really came out (and were) gelling with each other. Playing to each other’s strengths. I thought versus Rossford we did a pretty good job of that. This first half I thought we did really well, and then the second half kind of a little bit later. But we put it together again and put some goals in, which is what I feel like this team is probably going to be really good at doing,” said head coach Casey Elson of his team’s wins over Rossford and LC.
Wauseon struck first when Braden Vajen raced up the left side and banged a shot into the right corner of the net at the 35:16 mark of the first half.
But then it took over 11 minutes before the Indians would strike again.
With just under 24 minutes left in the half, Collin Mennetti put away a ball in front of the net for a 2-0 Wauseon lead.
It would be nearly 17 minutes later until Wauseon scored its third goal; however, they were doing a good job of controlling the ball and matching the Tigers’ physicality.
“We kind of came in expecting that,” Elson said, referring to the game’s physical nature. “So we told some of the younger guys that get out there that in league play it’s just going to be a physical game. It’s different, everyone is eager to win. With the success we’ve had in the past years, I know that teams are coming out and wanting to beat us really bad. We told the boys, expect the physicality and I think they embraced it and played very well through it.”
Benicio Torres fed Eli Delgado for a goal to make it 3-0 with 7:17 remaining in the half. Then Torres himself scored with 5:13 to go, followed by another from Vajen, putting the difference at 5-0 at the break.
The Indians continued to keep the ball mostly down by the Tiger goal in the second half. A Torres penalty kick got it to 6-0 with just under 23 minutes to play.
“I think in the middle there with Benicio (Torres) and Manuel Gante, they do a very good job of just keeping it (a) short game. One-touch passes have been kind of our weakness a little bit, but I felt like this game they did a really good job finding their forwards — getting shot opportunities. Obviously I would like to connect on more, but, they’re working towards it and I did like the way the offense kind of gelled and kept it on this side of the field for us,” said Elson.
Their only slip up came with 22:32 remaining when Blake Hagan scored for LC.
However, Wauseon had the last laugh, as Delgado and Vajen tacked on a goal each to close the scoring.
Wauseon is now 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in league play. They are back home on Thursday, Sept. 1 when rival Archbold comes to town for a crucial NWOAL match.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.