Though they are essentially out of contention for the league title, the Wapakoneta Redskins enjoyed handing the Ottawa-Glandorf Titans the same fate Monday, as Wapak edged O-G in a Western Buckeye League varsity girls soccer game, 3-2, at Ryan Field.
The Redskins held onto a 2-1 lead for 25 minutes, since just before halftime.
Wapak spent much of the game defending O-G’s offense-oriented approach, but one of the few times the Redskins were able to make a run at O-G’s defense, Brianna Pequignot scored at 16:11 to give Wapak an insurance goal to go up 3-1.
“We knew O-G would push forward. They’re a very offensive-minded team,” Wapak varsity coach Ross Kantner said. “We knew they were going to be coming at us and we needed to step up.
“When we got that third goal, that took a lot of pressure off and put the pressure back on them,” he said.
It turned out Wapak sorely needed its third goal as O-G responded with a goal of its own by Michelle Maag at 5:24 left in the game.
The Redskins held on the final minutes to win by one, 3-2.
Wapak goalkeeper Mikayla Halfhill notched 14 saves in her return to action following an injury that kept her out of two games last week.
“She played strong,” Kantner said. “To come out tonight against one of the best teams in the WBL and give up two goals, that’s pretty good. I’m pretty happy.”
Halfhill was kept busy by the O-G offense, coming up with numerous catches in front of the net and a couple diving grabs in front of Titans players.
“Coach Mike Foor has worked a lot with our goalies,” Kantner said. “We’ve worked on cutting angles down. Mikayla is very coachable. If you show or tell her, she does it.”
The two teams were seemingly on track for a scoreless first half before three goals in the final six minutes broke open the scoring.
With 6:11 before halftime, Wapak’s Leah Schattschneider began the scoring, giving Wapak a 1-0 lead.
Less than two minutes later, at 4:25, O-G’s Emma Bruskotter evened the contest at 1-1.
Mackenzie Custer scored what would prove to be the go-ahead goal with one minute remaining the first half.
Wapak was able to collect the 3-2 advantage despite playing defense seemingly the whole evening, as O-G outshot Wapak 19-8.
Kantner said his team stressed patience as he watched his team execute amid few opportunities to score Monday.
“We talked a lot about being patient, working the ball and putting an emphasis on finishing,” Kantner said. “We can’t come down and waste opportunities.
“Tonight we came down, worked the ball and were patient,” he said. “We just got some really good looks.”
Wapak, with the win Monday, evened its WBL record at 3-3-0 and sat three losses behind league leader
Celina (4-0-2). O-G, meanwhile, dropped to 3-2-1 in the WBL, falling out of a four-way tie for second place.
“This is big for us,” Kantner said. “As Coach Foor said, this is a signature win. Ottawa-Glandorf is one of the best teams in the league. There’s no doubt in my mind.
“For us to step up and not only play with them but beat them is pretty awesome for us,” he said.
Wapak will continue its season Thursday with a WBL match on the road against the St. Marys Roughriders. Only varsity teams will play, with a start time of 7 p.m.