Wauseon boys soccer throttles Oak Harbor Rockets in sectional semifinal

By Randy Roberts - For the Expositor

Wauseon peppered the Oak Harbor net with 26 shots, with nearly half finding the target as the Indians opened the boys soccer tournament with a 12-0 win over the visiting Rockets in a Division II sectional semifinal Monday.

“No one wants to go home and it’s a different season,” said Wauseon coach Casey Elson. “You throw away records and work on your game. We tried to do what we do best and I felt like today, we accomplished that.”

Eli Delgado got the Indians rolling with a goal at the 32:57 mark of the opening half. After assisting on a Braden Vajen goal, he made it 4-0 with 14:03 in the half on a tough shot that bowed in from the side of the net. In between, Clay Soltis took a pass from Manny Gante to score.

“I’ve kind of leaned on Braden Vajen and Benicio Torres all year this year with our offense,” stated the Wauseon coach. “Along with Eli Delgado, those three came out swinging.”

Vajen, who led the team with 20 goals in the regular season, put the final touch on the half with a penalty kick to give Wauseon a 6-0 lead at the half.

The Tribe started right up in the second half when Gavin Gerig rolled a goal in just a minute-and-a-half into the second half. It was good to see from Gerig, who was limited because of injuries in the regular season.

“That’s what we’ve been waiting for,” said Elson. “He didn’t get a good opportunity in the first half. Right away in the second half, he put one in. We’re excited for him and excited to have him back.”

Wauseon continued to pressure the Rocket net, with Gante adding a pair of goals, Benicio Torres getting the final touch on what turned out to be an own goal on Oak Harbor, a second goal from Soltis and scores from Josh Bourn and Maysn Buehrer in the final 10 minutes to make the final 12-0.

The plan was to stay on the attack, and it worked. Wauseon outshot Oak Harbor 26-3.

“We put an extra guy up to keep the ball on our half,” admitted Elson. “We let the offense work through it. Our passing tonight was the key to our game. I thought they did great in the midfield, passing it.”

Wauseon (9-6-2) will take on Lake at Lake Community Stadium on Thursday for the sectional title and a spot in the district. The Flyers, who are the third seed in the district, come in undefeated at 13-0-3.

“We’ve watched a little film on them,” Elson said about his team’s sectional final opponent. “They’re a solid team, they have yet to lose. It’s going to be a challenge for us. I love the group we have here and I think they’re ready to step up to the challenge and play a good game.”

Kickoff at Lake is set for 7 p.m.


By Randy Roberts

For the Expositor