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The Daily



09-30-03: Celina battles for tie with Defiance


For the third time this year Celina played one of the top three Western Buckeye League teams tough, but for the third time it failed to come away with the win.
The Bulldogs did manage a 2-2 tie against Defiance though, which came in ranked No. 10 in Division II and undefeated in the WBL.
The start of the game looked as if it was going to be dominated by the blue and white Bulldogs, as Defiance controlled the first 40 minutes of play.
That hard work paid off for Defiance in the 27th minute, when Johnathon Niese played a low hard ball into the Bulldogs penalty area, where an onrunning Dylan Mertz slid early enough that he could touch the ball past Celina’s keeper for a 1-0 lead.
Defiance had plenty of chances in the first half, as it outshot Celina 14-1. Defiance also had seven corner kicks to just one for Celina.
Celina didn’t get its first shot attempt until the 38th minute of the first half, although they had a couple of dangerous crosses into Defiance’s penalty area.
“We told the guys at halftime I thought that was one of the worst first halves we’ve played, as far as our intensity it was terrible,” said Celina coach Bruce Strine. “I told them we were fortunate that it was only 1-0, we didn’t put any effort into the first half.”
In the second half Celina appeared to be more of the aggressor, and it paid off in offensive scoring chances.
Celina also made a few halftime adjustments, so it could get more players into the attack.
“We went to a three-man front which gave us more offensive striking power,” Strine said.
That move paid off in the 63rd minute when Brian Dorsten came up with a big goal.
Kyle Grunden crossed the ball into the middle of the 18-yard box from the right side of the field to Mike Siebert. Siebert was able to get his head on it and direct the ball to Dorsten who finished with a shot that buried into the left side of the Defiance net for a 1-1 tie.
Seven minutes later it was Dorsten again with a great chance. Dorsten was able to steal a ball from the Defiance defense, and then attack the goal with his dribble.
Dorsten then unleashed a shot that went just over the top of the DHS goal.
“He did a nice job, he’s a freshman and he’s learning, he had a pretty good half,” Strine said. “He had a much better second half and scored our first goal to get some momentum going.”
Celina’s momentum was momentarily halted in the 73rd minute, when Defiance used a quick restart on a throw-in. After Celina kicked the ball over the sideline on their half of the field, Defiance’s Bryan Flory quickly fired a throw down the left side to Niese.
Niese let the ball bounce one time before ripping a ball from 30 yards out and past Celina keeper Nick Uhlenhake.
“It was a heck of a shot from outside, I don’t know how he got it near bar, but it was a heck of a shot,” Strine said.
Defiance’s 2-1 lead was short lived, as Celina answered two minutes later.
Grunden was able to keep a ball alive inside the Defiance penalty area, and when it rolled to Alex McKirnan he knew exactly what to do with it. The senior forward buried the ball in the left side netting for the eventual 2-2 tie.
“Definitely that side of the field usually gives us bad luck, and last time we were in the same scenario and the same thing happened, as we came to a tie,” said Defiance coach Carlos Lopez. “I give all the credit to Celina, they never gave up and we tried to come back on them, but a few bad breaks here and there and that was the end of the game.”
In the second half Defiance hurt itself with a couple of near misses.
Niese had a ball crossed to him that cleared Celina keeper’s Mark Hopf’s outstretched hands, but Niese headed it wide of the goal.
Matt Koester also had a dangerous pass that slid in front of the Celina goal mouth to Kevin Wajert, but Wajert didn’t get a solid boot on the ball and the Defiance threat vanished.
Celina outshot Defiance 8-5 in the second half, and it also turned the table on corner kicks where it led 3-2.
Celina’s record moves to 4-6-3 (3-3-1 WBL) while Defiance falls to 11-1-2 (5-0-2 WBL).
Celina is back in action Thursday at Wapakoneta.


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The Standard Printing Company
P.O. Box 140, Celina, OH 45822