A second half adjustment to the Delta defense allowed the Swanton boys soccer team to score four second half goals and defeat the Panthers on their home field, 5-2, Thursday in NWOAL play.
Delta utilized their offside trap which is designed to give the opposing offense trouble staying onsides. It was successful in the first half, but the Bulldogs made an adjustment in the second, which enabled them to overcome a 2-1 halftime deficit.
“They were playing 20 yards (from) the front line to the back line, so in the first half we were having a hard time getting through it,” said Swanton coach Rob Upham of their struggles early on. “We’d either play a ball that was too long or we would get caught offside. Then we just made an adjustment at the half and it ended up working out for us.”
Despite the loss, Delta mentor Charlie Franklin was pleased with his team’s play.
“We played pretty tough, this last half we kind of got broken down a little bit. But I think we stayed in it and fought well,” he said. “The score don’t show how we played.”
The Panthers struck first when Jared Gilders got to a loose ball and fired it past Swanton goalkeeper AJ Wolford to make it 1-0 at the 24:47 mark.
However, Swanton’s Trevor Schaller tied it just over seven minutes later on a nice play where he weaved past defenders on the left side and fired it into the back of the net.
“He is a solid player for us,” said Upham of Schaller. “Plays a bunch of minutes. He has been there all year for us – working hard. He finally just was able to find the back of the net tonight.”
Delta had more opportunities down the stretch and finally cashed in off the foot of Anthony Russell with 11:22 remaining in the first half. He was able to control the ball from about 10 yards away, set up his shot and fire a missile in the back of the net to give them the lead going into the break.
“We do an offside trap really good. And they didn’t (counter) that until the second half,” said Franklin of his team limiting the Bulldog offense in the first half. “But I think that helped us a lot.”
The Panthers’ Tyler McCullough had a chance to add to his team’s lead early in the second half, but his shot banged off the crossbar and was no good.
Schaller then got a pair of goals to put Swanton in front for good. The first came on a nice pass from Riley Hensley, and he later scored on an attempt from the left side which made it 3-2 with 19:56 left in the game.
Swanton’s Josh Adcock would score off a Nick Koback corner kick with 13:25 remaining, and also four minutes later with a header on Tanner Callicotte’s crossing pass.
Swanton is at Toledo Christian Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Dogs stopped by Birds
Swanton allowed three first-half goals to Pettisville last Monday and fell by a final of 3-1.
The Blackbirds held on for the win despite clearly being outplayed by the Bulldogs in the second half. In fact, Swanton out shot Pettisville 15-10, but the Birds were able to connect on more of their opportunities.
In the first half, especially the first 20 minutes, the ball was mainly down near the Swanton goal.
Pettisville’s Detric Yoder scored first for the Blackbirds, knocking a shot off a Bulldog defender and into the net to give them a 1-0 lead just 4:13 in.
Connor Wyse then made it 2-0 in favor of the Blackbirds when he fired a shot that went over Swanton goalkeeper AJ Wolford and in at the 26:54 mark.
Shortly after the Dogs had a myriad of opportunities. First was a shot from Riley Hensley off a pass from Josh Adcock that was saved, then Tanner Prentice fired a shot that sailed over the net, followed by Hensley who made a nice cross over move on a Pettisville defender but sent his shot wide right.
Hensley also fired a shot off a ricochet at the 16:27 mark, but Pettisville keeper Gabe Beck knocked away the hard hit ball.
Pettisville’s Canidate Vickery slid a shot past Wolford with 10:49 to go to give them a 3-0 lead at the half.
After numerous chances to begin the second half, Hensley finally got Swanton on the board at the 31:23 mark on a shot from the left side.
The Dogs continued to go on the offensive, starting with Joe Christopherson who made a run up the right side with around 28 minutes left, only to have his shot knocked away by Beck.
Pettisville’s best opportunity after the break came off the foot of Wyse who had his open look stopped by Wolford who made a nice diving save with 16:44 remaining.
With 5:50 to go, Prentice and Adcock attempted a two-man game with Prentice feeding Adcock inside and then Adcock sending it back out. However, Prentice was met by Beck who swallowed up the ball to keep the margin the same.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010