Swanton used its stellar defense and some outstanding goal tending to hold on for a 2-1 at Wauseon in boys soccer on Saturday.
“Our defense did hold strong,” said Swanton coach Kris Krupitzer. “We had a few little breakdowns there defensively at the end of the game. But no, our defense definitely held strong.”
While the Indians did fall to 0-8 on the year with Saturday’s defeat and a 6-0 shutout loss at Toledo Central Catholic Thursday, coach Shawn Kaufmann was upbeat after the game with Swanton.
“I am happy with 2-1,” he said. “We’ve gotten busted up the last two games. We got two more players on the field that have been out for about 3 to 4 weeks. And last week we got another one on the field that was out about that (long) too. So when we’re 100 percent, I think we are as good as anybody in our league.”
The Bulldogs opened up the scoring as Trevor Schaller, with aid of an assist by Tanner Prentice, fired one into the back of the net with 15:02 left in the opening half. At the 13:50 mark Schaller got a similar look. However, this time Wauseon goalkeeper Lucas Blanchong made the save.
“Lucas Blanchong was back for his first game after a busted thumb, still wearing something under his glove, by the way,” said Kaufmann of his keeper. “He’s got a hard brace under there so he actually can’t completely move all of his fingers yet. Seeing too many balls, but (he made) 39 saves and had some good tackles today.”
Wauseon’s Brady Kinnersley got the Indians their first decent attempt at a goal, but his approach from the left side went wide and was picked up by Bulldog keeper Tylor Prentice with 12:12 remaining.
Kinnersley also got free at the 3:58 mark of the half but had his shot deflected by Tylor Prentice and Canidate Vickery’s clean up attempt went off the post.
“I can never say enough good things about Tylor Prentice,” said Krupitzer. “The leadership he exhibits on the field through actions as well as words. You can’t say enough good things about him.”
Swanton’s Joe Christiensen added a goal not even two minutes into the second half to give the Bulldogs a two goal advantage with more than 38 minutes left to play.
But in the final 10 minutes the Wauseon offense began to get into its rhythm. With 6:16 remaining, Vickery got his head to the ball on an Indian corner kick and while Tylor Prentice did get a hand on it, the force of the shot carried it into the net to trim the Bulldog lead in half.
“We are going to have to work on punch, not slap,” admitted Krupitzer, referring to Prentice’s attempt at a save.
But for the Indians, Kaufmann was simply impressed by the play of his freshman forward.
“It is hard to believe he is a freshman,” said Kaufmann of Vickery. “His game IQ is off the charts. I can put him anywhere on the field and he involves the whole group.”
With 20 seconds remaining, Jacob Seiler of Wauseon had a shot from the left side that was saved by Tylor Prentice and booted down the field to preserve the win for Swanton.
Max Householder can be reached at 419-335-2010