Wauseon was touted as one of the teams to beat in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League boys soccer title race this year while Evergreen, in only their fifth year of existence in the sport — and with a rookie goalie — was picked in the middle of the pack.
Well on this night the novice in the net turned in a stellar performance and the Vikings took a major stride in competing for an NWOAL title by beating the Indians 2-1 Tuesday at Pifer Field.
The win put the Vikes at 2-0 in the league and 9-1 overall with their eighth straight win. The loss was the second in the league for the Indians.
“Yes this was a very good win for us,” expressed Viking coach Dave Skoczyn. “Wauseon is a very good team with a lot of very good athletes. They had chances and so did we and really both teams left chances unrealized. I thought our game plan was good and the boys executed really well.
“Before we played we noticed how our guys were and we had never seen that kind of look in their eye and we were thinking, ‘well is this going to be a good thing or something we may not want’ and it turned out is was pretty good.”
Walker Lumbrezer asserted himself almost immediately as he stuffed a Wauseon 1-v-1 attempt in front of the net and less than a minute later, Evergreen made good on their first true chance.
Nick Rosinski took a pass in the middle and dropped a dime to Tyson Woodring cutting to the net and the Viking junior stuck the biscuit in the basket for a 1-0 lead.
That margin remained the same until the 20 minute mark.
Brodie Setmire launched a shot at the Wauseon net and when a Wauseon defender tried to head the ball out of bounds across the goal line, he accidentally knocked it past goalie Brody Balser for an own goal for a 2-0 Evergreen advantage.
In the meantime, Lumbrezer stuffed two more Wauseon attacks and garnered five more saves in the first half as the Indians sent 11 shots at the net.
“You know we talked to Walker before the game because we were wondering how we would react to this kind of game,” Skoczyn said. “And he was really loose and we kind of knew that he would be fine.
“He just keeps getting better. Every day he gets better and works harder to be a good goalie.”
The Vikings took 13 shots with many going wide or over the crossbar with Balser grabbing four saves.
Woodring had a golden chance with 32 minutes left but hit the crossbar.
With six minutes to go Lumbrezer kept the Indians scoreless when he stopped Braden Vajen.
The Indians found the back of the net with 3:27 on the clock when Eli Delgado scored on the backside of a corner kick to cut the Viking lead in half but never got another shot at the goal.
Evergreen is off until next Thursday when they host Bryan. Wauseon welcomes Ottoville on Saturday at 11 a.m.