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Friday, October 19th, 2012

St. Marys ends tourney drought; Celina ousted

Division II Boys Soccer Sectional at Wapakoneta

By Mark Ruschau

St. Marys' Matt Dine, right, fights off an Elida defender during Thursday's Divi. . .

WAPAKONETA - The St. Marys boys soccer team got a huge monkey off their backs on Thursday night as they won their first postseason game since 2005 with a 2-1 win over Elida at the Division II sectional at Ryan Field.
The Roughriders used two first-half goals to advance to the district semifinals next Tuesday night at 6:30 p.m. against Shawnee at Wapakoneta. The Indians defeated Celina 2-0 in Thursday's nightcap to capture a sectional title.
St. Marys opened the scoring against Elida just 38 seconds into the game as senior Brennan Brown took a pass from junior Zack Wilker and put the ball past Bulldogs' goalie Drew Laing.
"The early goal was exactly what we have been looking for," said St. Marys' coach Dave Ring. "The quick attack is something that we have been working on, but of course you do not expect it to be that quick. We wondered if they were going to mark up and they did and we were able to take advantage of it, but they quickly changed things up and we were not able to do it again."
The Roughriders kept up the offensive pressure through the first 20 minutes of play as they outshot Elida 8-2 and had possession of the ball for a majority of the time but were unable to add that second goal.
St. Marys finally got what proved to be a huge insurance goal with 14 minutes left in the opening half. Zac Nelson was fouled to the right of the penalty box for a Roughriders' direct kick. Nelson stepped to the mark and fired a shot to the right corner of the goal for a 2-0 Roughriders' lead.
St. Marys continued to dominate possession of the ball throughout most of the second half but was unable to score another goal. In the final 40 minutes, the Roughriders outshot the Bulldogs 7-3 and had three corner kicks but came up empty.
The Bulldogs prevented a shutout at the 3:34 mark when freshman midfielder Gaerid Little took a nice feed from Riley Overholt across the front of the net and beat St. Marys' goalie Luke Leffel to cut the Roughriders' lead to 2-1.
Elida had a solid opportunity to tie the score with 1:30 remaining in the match. A scrum in front of Leffel resulted in a corner kick for the Bulldogs, but Nathan Stewart's kick landed in front of the penalty box and was cleared away by the Roughriders.
"We have to do a better job of protecting our second-half leads," said Ring. "We squandered a lot of scoring chances, but with that said, I will always take a win, especially in the tournament."
Shawnee 2, Celina 0
During the nightcap, Shawnee scored an early goal and then when on to dominate play, despite the strong effort by Celina's goalie Lucas Warner. The Indians outshot the Bulldogs 18-7 while Warner made 13 saves.
It looked early on as if Celina was up to the challenge as the Bulldogs controlled the ball in scoring position but failed to find an opening in the Indians' defense.
Shawnee got on the scoreboard eight minutes into the game as a shot by the Indians' Cory Wilder bounced off a Celina defender and past Warner for a 1-0 lead.
Celina had two strong scoring chances in the first half as Tucker Laux and Eric Moeder each had good looks at the goal but their shots were saved by Shawnee's Troy Brinkman.
Shawnee got a insurance goal midway through the second half as Jake Sevitz made a beautiful pass from the left wing to to Wilder in front of the goal to make the score 2-0.
"We started off well possessing the ball, and we moved it forward but were unable to connect," said Celina's coach Ryan Jenkins. "We then made a mistake defensively and they took advantage of it, scored and that is what good teams do. Our effort was great and our guys gave us everything they had but we came up short. Lucas Warner had a great game, made some great saves and kept the game as close as it was."
Additional online story on this date
CELINA - A large network of poles standing near the Auglaize Mercer Counties YMCA North Branch will soon be developed into a power source for the facility. [More]
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