Facing a stingy Pettisville defense, it took Archbold over a half before they were able to get on the scoreboard but when they did, that was all they needed to earn the win in non-league boys soccer at Pettisville Saturday morning.
Getting the goal for the Blue Streaks was Krayton Kern. It came less than 30 seconds after Kern had his free kick swatted away by Pettisville goalkeeper Rylan Warner.
On a corner kick from the left side by Ethan Stuckey with 26:32 remaining, the ball found the head of Kern who guided it into the net for the 1-0 lead. Archbold would hold that margin for the rest of the game.
“The thing you’ve got to remember, Pettisville are coached by Barnaby Wyse. The coach has been around since grass was invented I think,” joked Archbold mentor Stewart Rodger. “He has his team set out well. They’re organized, they’re committed, they communicate well. They were playing with a low block — four defenders, five at midfield. I found it extremely difficult to break through them. We tried a lot of things, and I just thought it was a great game really. A tactical battle. Pettisville played really, really well and it took a great corner and a fantastic header to beat them.”
Though the Streaks scored just one time, they kept the pressure on the Blackbirds throughout.
At the 20:10 mark of the first half, Kern received a ball lofted upfield, however, his shot from the left missed right of the net. Stuckey put one on net from approximately 10 yards away with 10:38 left in the half, a shot that went right to Warner for the save.
Warner, a sophomore, played a big part in keeping Archbold off the board.
Just less than five minutes into the second half, Dane Riley fired one at the net from the top of the penalty area that was scooped up by Warner.
Then, Stuckey rifled a shot with 28:55 left in the game but again, Warner stifled the opportunity.
“Sometimes when you play in these local rivalries, the kids are inspired. Someone always pulls out their best game, the game of their life. And I thought their keeper today was phenomenal — absolutely incredible. I thought all their defenders (played well), really. They are committed. We have a very fast, very powerful front three. And they held us in check for most of the game even though we were creating chances,” Rodger said of Warner’s play in net.
Archbold improves to 2-0 on the season while Pettisville drops to 1-2.
Both teams next play on Thursday. Archbold is at Wauseon in NWOAL play before returning home to face Fort Jennings on Saturday. Pettisville travels to Maumee Valley Country Day Thursday.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.