The rain started to fall as the clock started to wind, and when the clock his zero, the Wapakoneta Redskins found themselves victors over Van Wert, 4-3.
“We pulled the win, it wasn’t pretty, we had some let downs in there, but offensively we did the things we wanted to do,” said varsity head coach Marc Dyrness.
To start things off on the right foot, five minutes into the game, Colton Wilmarth took a pass from Anthonie Phommachanh and drilled it past Van Wert goalie AJ Smith to give Wapakoneta an early lead.
With the rain coming down even harder, Travis Bertram found a goal of his own off the assist of Collin Lenhart, with twenty minutes to go in the first half.
Seven substitutions over the next 11 minutes left the Wapakoneta defense thin, and with seven minutes to go in the half, Van Wert’s Richie Espinoza found the back of the net to cut the Redskin lead to one.
“That first goal I’ll take. I made too many substitutions. That’s on me,” Dryness. “I got comfortable, I moved some things around, I took the focus off of this match. I started looking past and I won’t do that again.”
In the second half, the Wapakoneta offense was running better than it has almost the entire season. Thru balls were working, players were working their way into the box, trailing midfielders were finding great shot opportunities at the top of the 18.
One thru ball to Phommachanh made its way into the left side of the box. He found a trailing Bertram who quickly found a trailing Sam Hinegardner. Hinegardner drilled as shot with his left foot past Smith for the third Wapakoneta goal.
In similar fashion, Noah Lee found a trailing Alex Myers five minutes later, who drilled a shot past Smith for the fourth goal of the game. Wapakoneta led, 4-1.
“Offense was fine. Through the middle, we struggled on defense. After that it was our game to lose, and we almost did that,” Dyrness said.
Three minutes later, those struggles through the middle became apparent as Caleb Marward put a shot past keeper Matt Ewing for Van Wert’s second goal of the game.
Just two short minutes later, again, Marward found the back of the net to cut the Redskin lead to one.
At the blink of an eye, the Redskin three goal lead was all but gone.
The next six minutes the Redskins went into the soccer equivalent of the prevent defense, and ensured the 4-3 victory.
Dyrness said the offesnive boost was a culmination of things they had been working on the entire season.
“We’ve been working, trying to get the communication there. We’ve got the width, we’ve got crosses, we got the balls to the forwards,” Dyrness said.
Dyrness also said that Van Wert’s defense allowed for the thru ball opportunities.
“Van Wert played narrow, so that allowed us to get the ball in there,” Dyrness said.