PERRYSBURG – The Archbold boys soccer team has not been behind much this season, so when they trailed 1-0 early to Ottawa Hills in the Division III district final Saturday at Rossford’s Glenwood Athletic Complex, it was surprising. However, it was not a shock that the Blue Streaks were able to overcome that deficit for a 3-2 victory and district championship.
The Ottawa Hills goal came a little less than three minutes into the contest when Dylan Schreder got free on a breakaway and slammed it past a diving Caleb Wooley.
But, at the 35:16 mark, Archbold’s Josh Kidder scored on a breakaway of his own to knot the score at one goal apiece.
“It was not the greatest of starts for us. I think that’s the first time we’ve been down all year,” said Archbold coach Sean Stewart of his team’s start. “Then to come back and get a goal fairly soon after that, that’s great. It just wasn’t a fantastic effort from us as far as team play. But, some good individual efforts were able to carry us through.”
Jared Kidder gave the Streaks the lead with the help of an assist by Andrew Hogrefe to make it 2-1 with 22:36 left in the half.
Archbold had chances to increase their lead in the second half, one being an opportunity for Jared Kidder after a pass inside by Kaiden Bedsole with 32:50 left. Kidder was swarmed by the Green Bear defense and goalkeeper Patrick Arnold hopped on the ball for the save.
Then, a key moment for both teams came a couple of minutes after that. Kevin Hileman of Ottawa Hills was given two yellow cards and a red after he made a gesture to an official in response to a call he did not agree with, forcing the Green Bears to play a man down for the final 30 minutes.
However, initially it seemed to give Ottawa Hills some momentum. In fact, Schreder knocked in a goal in the left corner of the net with 23 minutes to go to tie it at 2-2.
“I thought the defense played well in parts. Shaky in parts,” said Stewart. “They’ve got some nice players. They’ve got two or three really nice players coming forward. So, it is just about backing each other up and having each others backs.”
Archbold attempted to reclaim the lead with 21:50 left as Hogrefe booted a corner kick on target but it was grabbed by Arnold. Josh Kidder also nearly put in a header 1:18 later but Arnold was there again.
The go-ahead goal came at the 16:15 mark when Josh Kidder got around a defender and banged one in from a difficult angle on the right side to make it 3-2.
“The reason we like to play Josh out wide a lot is because he can get one on one with guys,” said Stewart on the goal. “And if he can do that, usually he can beat them. Not only did he beat his man to the inside, but went inside post. He picked his head up, saw a spot and he hit it.”
Archbold will now face Independence Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. in the regional semifinal at Sandusky High School.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010