WAPAKONETA — Everything.
That’s what Ottawa-Glandorf did right on Saturday.
The Titans rolled to a 3-1 victory over Shawnee to win the Division II boys soccer district championship on the turf of Harmon Field.
Not only did the Titans outshoot Shawnee 12-4, they gobbled up most of the loose balls.
Overall, O-G had its way through the midfield.
“They have a lot of athletes on that team,” Shawnee coach Dick Hagen said. “They’re very quick and we had a very difficult time matching up with them and I don’t know if this kind of field even makes them faster. They beat us to a lot of balls. … They beat us in a lot of aspects. They’re very fast and very physical and the better team won. It’s that simple.”
The Titans led 3-0 before Shawnee scored its only goal with 15:08 to play. That came on a penalty kick by Josh Thomas.
O-G had goals from Matthew Kaufman, Riley Lauth and Eric Beckman.
The Titans (17-1) advance to the regional semifinals against Bath at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lima Stadium. Shawnee ends its season 15-4.
The two teams shared the Western Buckeye League title, but O-G won the regular-season match against the Indians.
The game was moved on Saturday from grassy Ryan Field to the artificial turf of Harmon Field. O-G coach Mike Weihrauch thought Harmon Field was a plus.
“I think the surface played to our strengths,” he said. “We know it’s a fast surface and playing on this, as opposed to the long grass of Ryan Field, I think definitely was a big factor today.”
It marks O-G’s second straight regional appearance.
“I’m just excited going back because last year I was hurt during the regionals,” Beckman said.
The Titans scored first when Shawnee failed to clear the ball out their own box. The ball squirted over to the foot of Kaufman, who knocked it home from just outside the arc, 24-yards out. That came with 22:38 left in the first half.
O-G made it 2-0 off a corner-kick scramble. Mitch Niese hit the corner kick and T.J. Metzger fielded it. The ball then ping-ponged its way through traffic before Lauth found it just outside the goalie box. Lauth popped it in the net with 6:12 left in the first half.
O-G’s third goal came on a 45-yard pass from sweeper Jon Eiden to Beckman, who was just inside the 18-yard box. Beckman saw Shawnee goalkeeper Troy Brinkman come out to chop down the angle and he chipped it over Brinkman’s head and into the net.
That gave the Titans a 3-0 lead with 20:17 to go.
“Jon hit it over the top and I ran onto it,” Beckman said. “The keeper came out and I popped it over him and it went back of the net.”
Brinkman had seven saves for O-G. O-G goalkeeper Tyler Ellerbrock made eight saves.
O-G had eight corners, while Shawnee had only one.
Weihrauch praised his defenders and midfielders for controlling the game.
“It was the defense winning the ball high and not letting them penetrate deep in our half and then midfield able to control it and serve the ball forward,” he said.
It marked the second straight year O-G knocked off Shawnee in the district finals.
“Anyone who plays them better be ready for a physical game,” Hagen said. “They do it very well and they have enough skill, with their speed, that they can burn you.”