A relentless Bryan team outlasted Wauseon in the NWOAL girls soccer opener Thursday, getting a goal from Gracie Voigt with 3:10 left in the game to defeat the hometown Indians, 3-2.
“We’ve always struggled in the past with finishing (games),” said Wauseon coach Jordanne Marks. “I think this year we’ve taken great strides to find the back of the net. And I think this game showed that we are in it (until the end).
“I think, right now our biggest opponent is fatigue and injury. So we’ve just got to work on that. But overall, the team is doing great. They are looking good, they’ve got the drive, and this game is not going to set us back.”
The Indians dented the scoreboard first when junior Jaydelin Vasvery entered the Bryan zone and was taken down by Golden Bear defenders to draw a penalty kick at the 22:54 mark of the first half. She chose the left side on the attempt, burying it past Bryan goalkeeper Lauren Robinson to give Wauseon the lead.
“We’ve just talked about going to the ball hard and not just giving up. And I think she did a really good job of following through with that,” said Marks. “And she did great on (the PK). She was calm and under control, and she just got that in.”
After that goal, however, the Bears got into more of an attack mode.
With 9:53 left until the break, Bryan’s Emily Gorzelanczyk knocked one into the left side of the net to knot the score at 1-1.
Avery Giguere of Wauseon was awarded a direct free kick at the 4:44 mark. She sent a good ball right at the net but Robinson made the save for the Bears.
Bryan was on the offensive to start the second half as they had numerous attempts in the early minutes. One of those opportunities came off the foot of Allye Minor who had a shot go off the post with 23:25 left in the contest.
The Indians then grabbed the lead back with 17:02 to play, getting a breakaway for Vasvery whose nice footwork allowed her to dodge a diving Robinson and put it into the net to make it 2-1.
“Her composure and her attitude on the field has matured a lot,” said Marks of Vasvery. “I am just really impressed with her. She is always working really hard trying to fix everything that she needs to fix. And that goal right there, I mean it was beautiful. I got chills.”
However, the Bears did not wait even a minute to tie it up once again.
It was Minor who was on the attack and this time she banged it home, scoring at the 16:14 mark.
“This year I knew that they were gonna come out hard. And I knew that they’d been working to correct everything from last year. Same as we have,” said Marks, hinting at last year’s game which ended in a 0-0 tie. “I knew it was going to be a battle.
“I am really impressed with them. I think they did great – they worked hard. (Coach) Megan (DeNoi)’s really got them into shape and getting (to be) a good team.”
Voigt finished it off for the Bears when she, like Vasvery on her second goal for the Indians, dodged the opposing keeper and scored to equal the final tally of 3-2.
Outside of Vasvery who was one goal shy of a hat trick for the Indians, Giguere had five steals and three shots on goal. For Bryan, Norah Pool recorded two assists while Voigt had the other.
Wauseon then hosted Defiance on Saturday where they fell to the Bulldogs 3-1. Vasvery scored for the Indians in that contest.
Wauseon (1-2, 0-1 NWOAL) is on the road Tuesday when they travel to Continental for a game at 5 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010