Luke Williams (12) slides for a steal Thursday for the Wapakoneta Redskins in a non-league varsity boys soccer match against the Bellefontaine Chieftains at Harmon Field. (Staff photo/Michelle Frank)
After being rained out for their first game of the season, the Wapakoneta Redskins’ boys varsity soccer team showed the crowd at Harmon Field Thursday night what they should be looking forward to for the 2014 season.
At least for one-half anyway, as the Redskins defeated nonconference foe Bellefontaine 7-1 in a season opening match.
“The first half was the brand of soccer that we have been working on all year,” said Redskins coach Keith Rambin. “We showed patience, we were possessive and we had the two-touch play where as soon as we get the ball, we were looking to make that next pass.”
Indeed, as the Redskins were running on all cylinders maintaining possession, passing the ball and — most importantly — scoring goals.
Wapakoneta struck early and often in the first half. Just two minutes into regulation, senior forward Luke Williams scored a goal on a header while being uncovered in front of the goal thanks to an assist from senior Collin Lenhart.
Two minutes later in the fourth minute, senior Cody Benny had a breakaway goal to put Wapakoneta up 2-0.
“We have some great players on this team and those players did exactly what they were supposed to do in the first half,” Rambin said. “I think the first half was as good as we could have hoped for and it was fun to watch.”
Sophomore forward Alex Lause contributed to the first half onslaught by scoring two goals in a 12-minute period for the Redskins. The first was an assist from Williams and the second was a breakaway goal to give Wapakoneta a 5-1 lead after Matt Voss put the Chieftains on the board in the 17th minute.
Senior forward Will Hinegardner chimed in at the 20th minute giving the Redskins a commanding 6-1 lead at the half.
The Redskins were aggressive prior to intermission, recording nine shots on goal equaling to six goals in all. However, the second period was a different story.
“I thought it was more of a track meet,” said Rambin. “We have to work on that because I don’t want to come out here and play kickball.”
The Chieftains came out challenging the Redskins for the ball and out possessed Wapakoneta early on in the second half. In the first period, Wapakoneta outshot Bellefontaine, 16-4, but that number narrowed to 7-4 in Wapakoneta’s advantage after the half.
“What our players did in the first half is what I am used to seeing from them,” Rambin said. “They played unselfish soccer, and it led to six goals. I cannot sit here and say that we did not play unselfish soccer after that. I think we got a little goal hungry, everybody wanted to get a little piece of the pie and you can see the difference in our performance.”
Williams nailed the lone goal for the Redskins in the 53rd minute, shooting right pass the diving hands of Chieftains’ goalkeeper Tyler Jones.
Williams and Louse both finished with two goals and Hinegardner recorded a goal and an assist.
Regardless of how they played per half, the Redskins start the young season at 1-0 as Wapakoneta begins league play against Western Buckeye League foe Kenton on Tuesday.
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