The Archbold boys soccer team has made it a habit this season of overcoming second half deficits in Northwest Ohio Athletic League play. They did so on Sept. 1 at Wauseon in a 4-3 win, coming back down 3-1 at halftime, and then Tuesday at home versus Evergreen the Blue Streaks twice erased two-goal deficits in what turned into a 5-4 win.
“I’ve been involved with this game for over 40 years and it never ceases to amaze me. What the game can provide — the excitement. I’m gonna take my hat off to my boys, I don’t know where they get (their) backbone from,” said Archbold mentor Stewart Rodger on his team’s ability to come back. “They never, ever, ever, know when they’re beat. And they just keep on going and going. I’m so proud of them. I’m really proud of Evergreen as well. We’ve had Wauseon, Delta, and Evergreen, plus ourselves, I think we’re a great advert for the NWOAL and the level it’s been played at.”
Archbold moves to 8-1-1 overall and 3-1 in the NWOAL with the win. Evergreen suffered its first league defeat, dropping to 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the NWOAL.
“It was a great game,” admitted Evergreen coach Dave Skoczyn. “Two great teams — they’re a good team, we’re a good team. That’s what you want on the field. You want to try to leave it there. We got a little tired, a little out of sorts at the end. A lot of things didn’t go our way. But you know, it is what it is, we got to learn from that.”
The Vikings got their second two-goal advantage of the game at the 26:12 mark of the second half when Riley Dunbar put one away for a 4-2 lead. But the Streaks immediately advanced the ball down the field where Krayton Kern scored with still 26:01 remaining, trimming the difference to one goal.
Kern, like he has done all season, was a catalyst for the Streaks scoring four times on the afternoon.
“Both teams have got some really, really good players,” Rodger said. “And, I think if there was a difference in the teams, it was maybe we handled Tyson Woodring a bit better than they handled Krayton. They didn’t really have an answer for Krayton. I put the number 10 wrestler in the country (Brodie Dominique) on Tyson, and I think it tied him up a little bit. Brodie was phenomenal doing that marking job.”
Archbold was able to tie it (4-4) with a penalty kick scored by Ethan Stuckey with 15:53 to go.
Looking like the game was headed for a tie, Kern said ‘no way.’ A ball played in from near the left sideline by Archbold’s Brady Bacik reached the foot of Kern who fired it into the back of the net for the go-ahead goal.
“There’s (a) few things in defense that we need to shore up,” said Skoczyn on his biggest takeaways from the game. “Our midfield was just OK. They did a good job of marking Tyson. You know, he’s a good player. Krayton’s a good player. It was kind of mano v. mano. We had to move Tyson around. I think they did a good job on him and I thought for the most part, even though he (Kern) had four goals, I thought for the most part we didn’t let him get in behind a whole lot.”
Dunbar and Kern exchanged goals in the first 19 minutes of the game as the score sat at 1-1. The Vikings grabbed the lead just before halftime when Elijah Hernandez’ corner kick was put in by Evan Grasser.
In the early minutes of the second half Evergreen yet again capitalized on a Hernandez corner kick. This time Nick Rosinski was the beneficiary, and his goal put the Vikes on top 3-1 with 36:17 left — their first two-goal advantage of the game.
Kern got that goal back at the 28:24 mark, scoring from the left side as Viking goalkeeper Walker Lumbrezer just missed the save.
Despite suffering a gut-wrenching loss to the Streaks, Evergreen still has opportunities on the horizon with two league games remaining, including at home against Delta on Oct. 11. The Panthers tied with Wauseon Tuesday, putting them at 3-0-1 in the league.
“We knew coming into this they (Archbold) had to win, we didn’t have to win,” noted Skoczyn. “It was kind of like when we played Wauseon, we didn’t have to win that game we just had to play. Delta at our place is gonna be different than Delta at their place.
“It’s gonna be a great game. And it’s gonna be the second to last game of the season. We’ll put everything into it.”
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.