Wapakoneta ties St. Marys in WBL showdown
Knowing only a win would help their cause, the Wapakoneta Redskins were disappointed in Monday’s outcome.
The host Redskins played to a scoreless tie, 0-0, against their rival and league leader St. Marys Roughriders in Western Buckeye League varsity boys soccer action at Ryan Field.
Wapak remained one win behind St. Marys in the league standings after Monday’s match, as the Redskins moved to 4-0-3 in the WBL, while St. Marys stood at 5-0-2.
Both teams have two matches remaining in league play this season.
“This entire match was played well by both teams,” Wapak varsity coach Keith Rambin said. “It’s not how we wanted in terms of what we wanted to accomplish in the WBL, but, like every sport, when it comes to the end of the year and postseason time, everybody is waiting for a little bit of help.
“They’ve got two matches left,” he said of St. Marys. “I’m sure they’re the favorite, but on any given day, you never know what could happen.”
Wapak senior goalkeeper Kaleb Miller saved all 13 shots on goal and withstood 10 corner kicks by St. Marys.
Miller’s outing included him deflecting many shots just wide of the frame and recording numerous routine catches on kicked balls to the net.
Rambin said Miller had a nice performance Monday and was a big reason Wapak kept St. Marys scoreless.
“If we gave out game balls, he would have got one,” Rambin said of Miller. “He was reading the play very well. He was putting himself in good position and cutting down the right angles, and based on those angles, he kind of knew where the ball would go.
“You always worry this time of year, because the grass gets slick, it’s a little muddy down there and there’s not much grass,” he said. “You kind of hold your breath at the end when you’ve got that goalie scrambling around back there. He did a fine job.”
The two teams’ desire for a win Monday matched their intensity and physicality.
Wapak and St. Marys combined for 42 fouls and three yellow cards, playing in front of an excitable crowd with a nervous edge to it.
The intense, physical match also caused a few match-stopping injury timeouts.
Since two WBL matches remain in the regular season, Rambin commented on his team’s positioning in the league standings after Monday’s match.
“It is what it is,” Rambin said. “We’ll try to take care of business as best we can, and, who knows, maybe we’ll get a little help.
“Worst case scenario, we win out and take the second seed,” he said. “That’s what we’ve got to hope for.”
Wapak’s five seniors — Stephen Miner, A.J. Wahlie, Bailey Hinegardner, Seth Hoelscher and Miller — were honored prior to Monday’s match, their last WBL match at Ryan Field.
Wapak will play its final regular season home contest Saturday against the Lima Senior Spartans.
The Redskins will continue their schedule Thursday with a road match in WBL play against the winless Van Wert Cougars.