Swanton’s Aricka Lutz set the tone by scoring 54 seconds into the game as the Bulldogs opened Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls soccer play with a 3-0 win Thursday at Evergreen.
From just outside the right corner of the 18-yard box, Lutz hammered a big bender that dropped in across the bar on the left side of the net for an impressive start to the game.
“That was huge,” Swanton coach Jim Dickman said of the start of the game. “Aricka was awesome. She got it right off that bat and that’s what we told them on the sidelines, come out quick. We haven’t played on turf and the ball plays totally different. That was nice.”
Miscommunication by the Evergreen defense led to the open player.
“An unfortunate situation,” stated Evergreen coach Josh Radel. “It started with miscommunication with our left fullback and our middie (midfielder). She trailed off instead of attacking. They thought there was a switch called, unfortunately there wasn’t.”
Averie Lutz made it 2-0 with 25:29 left in the half when her free kick on an Evergreen handball found the back of the net.
“It was a ball to the hand that should have never been a handball,” Radel said of the second goal. “I think the refs had a conversation at halftime, but it did give Swanton the quick second goal.”
Five minutes later, Bridget Harlett deposited a goal on a breakaway, which ended up being the final goal of the contest.
After playing defense much of the first half, the Vikings did go on the attack in the second half. Morgan Kohler, Paige Radel and Annabelle Hughes all had chances that were turned away.
“We had two defenders go off (with injuries) and two more had to come off the bench and play,” Dickman said of his team’s line-up in the second half. “It worked out. That wasn’t something we expected.”
Radel had a chance that hit the crossbar with 2:44 left in the game.
“We should have had a couple goals,” the Evergreen coach said of the second half of the game. “We’re not putting it on frame, but when we do we’ll be a good team.”
In the Bulldogs’ home opener last Monday, they defeated Ottawa-Glandorf 5-0. Harlett had a hat trick to lead the way.
Swanton (2-0-1, 1-0 NWOAL) is back in league action Tuesday at Liberty Center. Evergreen (0-2-1, 0-1) travels to Delta the same night.
Reach Randy Roberts at email@example.com