KALIDA — Forget that Liberty-Benton spent most of the night buzzing around the Kalida 18-yard box.
And also forget that there was a dark haze for a time when one of the four lights went out.
Kalida delivered when the time was right.
Kalida scored on its first shot of the night with 1:22 left in the first half and the Wildcats posted a non-league 2-0 boys soccer victory over Liberty-Benton on Tuesday night.
Kalida’s first shot produced a goal when Josh Verhoff sent a free kick from 35-yards out into the box and Grant Laudick headed it in from 12-yards out late in the first half.
At that point, L-B had outshot Kalida 6-1. But it was Kalida with the lone goal.
“It was pretty crazy, but that’s the game of soccer,” Laudick said. “We just tried to do something with our opportunities. … I just saw the ball come right at me. He served a perfect ball in. It looked like it had a chance. I saw the goalie and it looked like it went under his hands.’’
Added Kalida coach Mark Czubik, “We tell our kids before the kick is made is get a little bit of movement so you’re not stationary. And other thing we tell our kids is go to the ball. You don’t know where it’s going to end up, but if you don’t go to it, you’re never going to get to it. And, fortunately, Grant happened to be in the right place at the right time. And it was a pretty good header.’’
That goal came just seconds after one of the lights at the other end of the field went out.
Kalida’s second goal came from Carter Moore in front on pass from the right corner by Brad Siefker with 2:46 to go.
Kalida is 6-3-1. Liberty-Benton is 4-3-1.
“They were probably the better overall team tonight,” Czubik said. “But I really have to compliment my defense. Our starting sweeper didn’t play tonight and I thought for the most part our back four held pretty strong.’’
Liberty-Benton’s midfield and defense both played well, as Kalida had few offensive chances.
Kalida’s defense played well, with Chandler Hopkins leading the way from his sweeper spot. Hopkins was filling in for Brady Decker, who was under the weather and didn’t play.
Liberty-Benton outshot Kalida 11-3. Both teams had two corner kicks.
Kalida sophomore goalkeeper Brayden Recker made nine saves, many line-drive shots. And the ball was wet all night after Kalida received several all-day rains.
The junior varsity game was even halted because of lightning.
Liberty-Benton goalkeeper Chris Dole made one save.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.