ELIDA — Elida rolled out a blueprint for corner kicks.
And once the Bulldogs drew it up, they kept the corner kicks coming.
Elida scored all three goals off of corner kicks to knock off Bath 3-1 in a girls soccer match Tuesday.
Jaydon Hollstein scored twice, while Bella Wallace scored the team’s third goal. Jency Jenkins had three assists, all from the corner kicks.
Elida is 2-1 and 1-0 in the Western Buckeye League. Bath is 2-2, 0-1 in the WBL.
Last year Elida was the WBL champions and reached the district finals. The Bulldogs graduated WBL player of the year Hope Carter, but they return five all-WBL players.
Those veterans helped Elida dominate the first half. The Elida midfield of Hollstein, Lauren Kesler and Aubrey Etzler gobbled up every loose ball around the center circle.
If Bath did penetrate the midfield, Elida defenders, led by all-WBL Baylie Moening, put a halt to the attack.
Also on the back line for Elida most of the night were Jessica Siefker, Wallace and Jacqueline Nichols.
Elida outshot Bath 19-5.
Bath goalkeeper Emily Rocca made 10 saves. Elida freshman goalkeeper Erika Suever had two saves.
Elida scored three goals on six corner kicks. It was Elida’s first goal of the year off a corner.
“We’ve scored off free kicks,” Elida coach Elise Jenkins said. “We’re very good on set pieces. We have a couple girls who can really strike the ball and place it really well. … I never thought we would play Bath and have all three goals off a set piece.’’
The first one came when Jenkins fired from the right corner and Hollstein pounded it home with her right foot from 10-yards out.
That gave Elida a 1-0 lead with 33:59 left in the first half.
“As a team in the past we haven’t scored much off of corners, but we really emphasized that a lot in practice because it’s such an important part of the game,” Hollstein said. “But usually, I’m the one taking the kicks. It’s something different to finish a couple of good balls from Jency.”
Again it was Jenkins off the corner to Hollstein, who charged hard into the heart of the box from the top of the 18-yard box. That pushed the Elida lead to 2-0 with 25:02 in the first half.
“After it happened once, I never imagined it would happen two more times,” Hollstein said. “But it did and I’m glad it did.’’
Bath came out and was more active and physical in the midfield in the second half. That helped it to get the loose balls and push them ahead to the speedy freshman Chandler Clark.
With 30 minutes left Clark ripped a quality low shot at the corner, but Elida’s Suever came up with a diving save at the left post.
“I think we wanted it, but we didn’t want it bad enough until we got down,” Bath coach Brooke Shultz said. “I think we got a little more intensity and stepped up to the level of physical play that was going on.
“She’s (Clark) going to be awesome. Baylie (Moening) did a great job on her. They are both tiny, fast and physical.’’
Bath defenders Ainsley Miller, Lexi Foley and Tori Dackin helped stabilize the back end and slow down the Elida attack in the second half. All-WBL Miller, coming off a leg injury, was making her first appearance of the year.
Elida kicked the lead to 3-0 off Jenkins’ third corner kick. This time the ball got loose in the box and Wallace knocked it into the net with 28:56 to play in the match.
Bath got within 3-1 when Kennedy Fagan stole a ball in the Elida end and rammed in a shot from 18-yards out with 23:49 to go.
Coach Jenkins said, “I think we got a little complacent. I think we thought that a 2-0 lead was a cushion, but it’s not against a team like Bath.’’
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.