In a showdown between the last three Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls soccer champions, a pair of first half goals, then another with under two minutes to go in the contest lifted Archbold over Swanton, 3-0, Thursday at Krupitzer Field.
“I feel like we dominated play,” said Archbold assistant coach Jennifer Kidder. “We definitely played good soccer, but like, we just didn’t finish today. Couldn’t finish at all. I think we had 23 shots literally on goal, and we just struggled with finishing. We’re still feeling people out. Trying to find them in the right positions. A win is a win. And, obviously, this is a huge win for us, with it being a league game.”
The Bluestreaks had many attempts in the first half; however, most of them were turned away by Swanton freshman goalkeeper Frankie Nelson.
At the 31:42 mark of the first half, Archbold’s Addison Moyer had a look from just outside of the penalty area. She nearly lifted it over for a goal but Nelson rose up to make the save.
Then, over 12 minutes later, the Streaks were granted a penalty kick opportunity. The shot was knocked away by Nelson to keep the game scoreless.
“For a freshman goalie, that’s huge,” said Swanton coach Jim Dickman. “And she’s doing really well. She’s done really well in all the games so far.”
“Blocking a PK is huge, no matter what the circumstance is,” added Kidder. “So making that stop was huge for them.”
The Bulldog defense was crucial as well in the first half, not allowing many quality shots at the net. Most of them were hit softly or right to Nelson.
“We did a good job,” said Dickman on the play of his defense. “We are just really young. It’s just gonna come with time, because it’s different than what they’ve played before. But they’ll get it. We’ve got a long season to go yet.”
Archbold then scored two goals in the final seven minutes of the first half.
Regan Ramirez broke the tie, lofting one in from 10 yards away at the 6:18 mark. With 3:34 to play, Ramirez fed one to Moyer who cashed in for a 2-0 Bluestreak lead, which is where it would stay until late in the game.
Swanton had some opportunities after halftime, but couldn’t quite find the back of the net. At the 21:27 mark of the second half, an Aricka Lutz corner kick led to multiple shots. Both Averie Lutz and Caroline Vargas put shots on net that were knocked away.
Their best look came with 2:33 left to play, when Bridget Harlett challenged Archbold keeper Reagan Kohler. However, both of her attempts were stopped by the freshman netminder.
Forty-six seconds later, Kalyn Baker put one in for the Streaks to complete the scoring.
Dickman sees this as a great learning experience for his team.
“Now we know they (Archbold) are beatable,” he said. “We just can’t take five minutes off in the first half and let stuff happen to us. That’s the biggest thing. That’s what we stressed to the girls, that now we know they’re all beatable.”
The Dogs won at Maumee on Saturday 3-0. Swanton, who improved to 3-3-2 after the win against Maumee, hosts Woodmore today and welcomes Delta Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Reach Max Householder at 419-335-2010