Pettisville was able to hammer home three first-half goals in Monday’s home soccer match against Swanton and eventually held on for a 3-1 win.
They did so despite clearly being outplayed by the Bulldogs in the second half. In fact, Swanton out shot Pettisville 15-10, but the Birds were able to connect on more of their opportunities.
Blackbird coach Richard Nyce felt the margin could have been more in their favor.
“It seems like the boys don’t play so well when it’s hot because it was a very frustrating match for me,” he said. “I couldn’t find a mix of guys that were gonna go at it hard. I thought we should have won quite a bit more easily than we did. We shouldn’t have had to fight that whole second half and not score any. But, when we possess and ping the ball around in the midfield then we look pretty good. When we start trying to stick it up over the top then that’s not good for us.”
In the first half, especially the first 20 minutes, the ball was mainly down near the Swanton goal.
Pettisville’s Detric Yoder scored first for the Blackbirds, knocking a shot off a Bulldog defender and into the net to give them a 1-0 lead just 4:13 in.
Connor Wyse then made it 2-0 in favor of the Blackbirds when he fired a shot that went over Swanton goalkeeper AJ Wolford and in at the 26:54 mark.
Shortly after the Dogs had a myriad of opportunities. First was a shot from Riley Hensley off a pass from Josh Adcock that was saved, then Tanner Prentice fired a shot that sailed over the net, followed by Hensley who made a nice cross over move on a Pettisville defender but sent his shot wide right.
Hensley also fired a shot off a ricochet at the 16:27 mark, but Pettisville keeper Gabe Beck knocked away the hard hit ball.
“Gabe is one of the better keepers we’ve had here,” said Nyce. “He did a nice job. A couple of them I thought for sure they were gonna score in there and he stopped them. That’s what we like to see.”
Pettisville’s Canidate Vickery slid a shot past Wolford with 10:49 to go to give them a 3-0 lead at the half.
After numerous chances to begin the second half, Hensley finally got Swanton on the board at the 31:23 mark on a shot from the left side.
The Dogs continued to go on the offensive, starting with Joe Christopherson who made a run up the right side with around 28 minutes left, only to have his shot knocked away by Beck.
Pettisville’s best opportunity after the break came off the foot of Wyse who had his open look stopped by Wolford who made a nice diving save with 16:44 remaining.
With 5:50 to go, Prentice and Adcock attempted a two-man game with Prentice feeding Adcock inside and then Adcock sending it back out. However, Prentice was met by Beck who swallowed up the ball to keep the margin the same.
Pettisville (6-1-2) is back in action Thursday when they host Liberty Center at 4:30 p.m. Swanton (5-2) is at Delta beginning at 5 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010