Archbold flipped the momentum in a 1:13 span in the second half, scoring a pair of goals on Wauseon in what ultimately turned into a 2-0 victory for the Blue Streaks in Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls soccer at Ruihley Park Tuesday.
This was Archbold’s first game since the Thursday before (Aug. 25), when they tied with Swanton in league play, 2-2.
“We needed this win just for piece of mind for our players,” stated Archbold assistant coach Jennifer Kidder after the game. “Just so they are confident with what they’re doing and how they are playing. And I think it was huge. Coming off that tie against Swanton where we felt like we were the better team, and then coming in here today and actually showing it.”
It was a bitter pill to swallow for Wauseon.
“For 60 minutes in that game we were the aggressors,” said Indians’ coach Brandon Schroeder. “In terms of possession, and shots on goal were in our favor there for a long time. All it takes is one mistake and then that gets compounded. It doesn’t take long to fall behind in this game.”
The Streaks scored their first goal at the 19:20 mark of the second half, then the flood gates opened. Sophie Rupp played a free kick toward the net that Leah McQuade was able to convert, breaking the scoreless tie.
“Kind of an awkward touch in our box. We went to clear a ball that was kicked in,” explained Schroeder of the first Archbold goal. “We got the touch and tried to clear it, but then that ball tipped up instead of out. Our keeper gathered it but got it knocked out. It was their second runner (who) knocked it into the net there.”
A little more than a minute later Jenna Mahnke tacked on one more score for the 2-0 Blue Streak advantage.
The Streaks proceeded to dominate possession in the latter half of the contest following the two goals.
According to assistant coach Kidder, a simple adjustment in the lineup enabled them to have more success after halftime.
“We changed our lineup at halftime. We’re just always — it’s so early (in the season) — still looking for the best combinations of players and positions. We tried something different in the first half and then came back to the lineup that we did in the second half and it made a difference. Playing 40 minutes and being equal, like you finally realize, ‘shoot, this isn’t what I want, we can do better than this.’ Then they stepped up and everybody played and our passes were better — and crisper. And we looked for opportunities and found each other,” she said.
The Indians will look to take any lessons they can from this game and move forward.
“I think we build on our strengths, certainly. Our possession, our decision making was a strength of us tonight,” Schroeder said. “But, moving forward, just situational awareness in a lot of those. That second goal, they had a free kick and we were setting up a wall and all that and they just wanted the quick start. So just to be aware kind of what’s going on there. Not get caught in those situations.”
Archbold (3-0-1, 1-1 NWOAL) is off until Thursday, Sept. 8 when they welcome Ottawa Hills to Ruihley Park. Wauseon (2-2, 0-2) is at Continental Thursday at 5 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.