The Wapakoneta Redskins varsity boys soccer team continued the solid start to its season with a 3-0 win over the Elida Bulldogs in the Western Buckeye League opener for both teams Thursday night at Ryan Field.
Junior Travis Bertram scored two goals and senior Andy Faller added a goal and an assist as Wapak upped its record to 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the WBL.
â€śItâ€™s the strongest start weâ€™ve had since Iâ€™ve been here,â€ť said fifth-year Wapak coach Marc Dyrness. â€śIt just shows the work that weâ€™re doing and how the program is growing that weâ€™re able to walk into this with the youth that we have and play good soccer.â€ť
Wapak executed its game plan of getting the ball wide and crossing it to the 6-foot-3 Bertram in the middle behind the sweeper.
â€śWe played it the way we wanted to play it,â€ť Dyrness said.
Faller gave Wapak a 1-0 lead just 2:32 into the contest, getting an assist from junior Alex Myers.
Bertramâ€™s first goal came in the 25th minute on an assist from freshman Sam Hinegardner to make it 2-0.
Bertram then put the game away with his second goal, from Faller, 16:00 into the second half.
â€śThatâ€™s like hitting that 20 mark in basketball with four minutes to go in a game,â€ť Dyrness said. â€śGetting a three-goal lead in the second half is definitely comforting.â€ť
Elida coach Tom Thomas said, â€śWe put ourselves in the hole. We were absolutely horrible in the first half and we didnâ€™t respond any better in the second half.â€ť
Wapak outshot Elida 18-6 overall and 9-5 on-goal. Junior goalkeeper Zach Holtzapple had five save for the Redskins.
Bulldogs goalkeeper Drew Laing had six saves.
â€śIt was a tough night with the humidity,â€ť Dyrness said. â€śBoth teams were a little sluggish. But we worked through it. We worked harder.â€ť