SOCCER: Wapak boys blank Bulldogs

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.
“It’s the strongest start we’ve had since I’ve been here,” said fifth-year Wapak coach Marc Dyrness. “It just shows the work that we’re doing and how the program is growing that we’re able to walk into this with the youth that we have and play good soccer.”
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.
“We played it the way we wanted to play it,” Dyrness said.
Faller gave Wapak a 1-0 lead just 2:32 into the contest, getting an assist from junior Alex Myers.
Bertram’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.
“That’s like hitting that 20 mark in basketball with four minutes to go in a game,” Dyrness said. “Getting a three-goal lead in the second half is definitely comforting.”
Elida coach Tom Thomas said, “We put ourselves in the hole. We were absolutely horrible in the first half and we didn’t respond any better in the second half.”
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.
“It was a tough night with the humidity,” Dyrness said. “Both teams were a little sluggish. But we worked through it. We worked harder.”