A few adjustments and a strong second half effort was enough to lift Swanton over an inspired Wauseon team, 2-0, in a crucial NWOAL girls soccer match last Tuesday at Thomas Krupitzer Field.
“We changed our formation at halftime and it went well after that,” said Swanton coach Jim Dickman on how his team was able to get the win. “We got a couple key players out, so a lot of decision making in the last couple of days.
“They knew that winning this game gets us a share of the NWOAL championship. (We) beat Bryan, then we get it (outright). And they all want it pretty bad.”
However, the Bulldogs were helped by Liberty Center on Saturday when the Tigers took down the Golden Bears, 2-1. This clinched the league title outright for Swanton, making it back-to-back titles for the Bulldogs.
In Tuesday’s contest, the Indians were the aggressors throughout much of the first half. They continued that effort in the early minutes of the second as well.
Torri Bost had a shot at the 32:20 mark, firing it from about 25 yards out but the shot went over the net. Then, just 33 seconds later, Wauseon’s Jaydelin Vasvery squared herself to the goal and fired a shot that was saved by Swanton goalkeeper Haylee Pelland who was filling in for Amber Torres.
The Dogs, however, took control from there as they scored a pair of goals with just under 30 minutes to go.
Kirsten Truckor made it 1-0 when she hammered home a shot off a Swanton corner kick at the 29:48 mark.
Approximately a minute later, Bridget Harlett used great hustle to block a kick out attempt from Wauseon keeper Hannah Spadafore and the ball trickled into the net to make it 2-0.
“It was,” said Dickman, referring to the great effort by Harlett on the play. “She hasn’t been as active this year as what she was last year. But, she made up for it tonight.”
The Wauseon offense was more dominant in the first half, however, they could not dent the scoreboard.
“We definitely came out pretty hard,” said Wauseon coach Jordanne Marks. “Moved the ball around really well. Played it into space. But yeah it was just the finishing (at the net). Which we’ve been working on all year, it just kind of got us a little bit tonight.”
The ball was down near the Swanton goal for the first 10 minutes of the opening half, but the Indians could not get any quality attempts, leaving the game scoreless.
Vasvery tried to put the Indians ahead first with a shot from five yards out with 26:23 left in the first half. However, her attempt went just outside the left post.
Probably the best look for the Indians came with 20:33 remaining when Bost weaved her way past Bulldog defenders, booting a ball that nearly cleared the keeper but instead hit off the crossbar.
Swanton is undefeated in the league at 5-0, with only Bryan remaining on their league slate. They also defeated Kalida 2-1 in a non-league contest on Thursday.
The Dogs’ game against Bryan is on the road Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010