Pettisville got hat tricks from two players as they opened up tournament play with a 7-1 win over Swanton Wednesday in a boys soccer sectional semifinal in Pettisville.
Now healthy, the Blackbirds put on display how good they can be.
“We just got two critical starters back from injury,” said head coach Barnaby Wyse. “We have been adjusting formation and personnel on the fly all season with as many as five starters out of the rotation. I think we could have scored three goals in the opening five minutes but missed some open opportunities — so we were ready to play. We have struggled in the first 10 minutes of each half all season and starting with great intensity and purpose was nice.”
As Wyse mentioned, the Birds had some quality looks at the net in the beginning of the contest, among those was a breakaway for Carlos Bowers that banged off the post at the 36:05 mark. Bowers and Zakkai Kaufmann had the two hat tricks.
Kaufmann put Pettisville on the board first, hammering home a shot just under six minutes in.
Quinn Wyse extended the lead to 2-0 with 20:08 left in the half, getting close to the goal and putting a shot past Swanton goalkeeper Nick Meisner.
Bowers cashed in on a breakaway opportunity with 10:40 remaining, making it a 3-0 Blackbird lead.
Then, the Birds were able to work their passing to perfection for two more first half goals.
First it was Griffin Eash centering a ball to Kaufmann for a goal — his second of the game — at the 9:31 mark. Kaufmann then set up Bowers for his second goal, putting them ahead 5-0 which would be the halftime margin.
“Certainly we had space in the midfield to string passes together,” stated Coach Wyse. “Swanton’s formation allows possession in the middle 1/3 of the pitch and their high line of defense allows a lot of space to run onto passes behind them — especially with the speed we have up front. We took what they gave us.”
Bowers and Kaufmann each tacked on goals in the first four plus minutes of the second half, closing out scoring for the Birds.
Kaufmann finished with two assists on the day, while Quinn Wyse, Bowers and Eash each had one.
Abel Carman had the Swanton goal, while Hayden Callicotte added the assist.
Pettisville traveled to Genoa on Saturday for the sectional final. They were eliminated with a 3-0 loss to the Comets.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010.