WAPAKONETA — Wapakoneta was taking squatter’s rights of the midfield.
And the Redskins’ defense often looked like a 10-foot wall in front of the goalkeeper.
That made it challenging for Elida to put together an offensive attack.
Wapak played a complete game, front to back, to post a 3-0 girls soccer victory over Elida on Thursday night at Ryan Field.
Unlike Wapak’s loss to Shawnee on Sept. 4, the Redskins jumped down on the gas pedal early and never let up.
“I think it (the Shawnee game) was a wake-up call,” Wapak defender Emma Kentner said. “I think we definitely got a lot more fired up and had more energy. This was a really good game for us.’’
The Redskins scored in the first four minutes and led 3-0 at the half.
Ellie Settlage, Emily Ruppert and Ali Ruppert scored for Wapak.
Wapak is 6-2-1 (3-1 Western Buckeye League). Elida is 4-1-1 (2-1-1 WBL).
Wapakoneta outshot Elida 9-6.
“We were able to play our quick, two-touch game,” Wapak coach Mike Foor said. “Torrie (Carter) and Emma (Kentner) and the four outside backs all stepped up tonight. It was the most complete 80 minutes we’ve played all season.’’
Wapakoneta goalkeeper Corrine Rainey had four saves for the shutout.
Elida goalkeeper Erika Suever made three saves.
Leading the Wapakoneta flat-back four defense was its center defenders Carter and Kentner.
Both kept Elida forward Jency Jenkins (six goals) off the scoreboard.
“We were trying to keep them pushed out of the 18 (yard box) and try to get them no shots on goal. And we were trying to not give up any through balls to the middle,” Kentner said. “I think we did a really good job of doing that. I’m really proud of our defense. Elida is a really good team.
“We didn’t have anyone marking her (Jenkins), but we wanted to know where she was at all times.’’
Foor said he also had defensive midfielder Nicole Richard keeping an eye on Jenkins going through the midfield.
Wapak had the corner-kick edge 5-1.
Settlage scored first with 36:16 left in the first half.
Morgan Follin played the ball into the box and Settlage and two Elida defenders battled for possession.
Both teams traded possession for several seconds until Settlage got the ball under control and fired it into the net from 7-yards out.
“You could see in the first five minutes of the game we were so scared and timid and that’s not the team I’m used to seeing,” Elida coach Elise Jenkins said. “They got three goals in the first half and we had only giving up two goals coming into this game.’’
Emily Ruppert scored on a breakaway, as she dribbled into the box and drilled it into the lower-right corner of the net from 15-yards out.
That made it 2-0 with 6:47 left in the first half.
Wapak’s offense continued surging through the midfield.
Madi Lause, just inside the box, played the ball ahead to Abbi Ruppert, who headed it in from 7-yards out.
That pushed the Redskins’ lead to 3-0 with 3:16 left in the first half.
The Wapak defense continually kept the Elida offense outside the 18-yard box until the final five minutes.
“We could not get the possession game going tonight,” coach Jenkins said. “We wanted to play it wide and get the crosses. I think we had a few, we just couldn’t capitalize in the second half.’’
Elida’s best chance of the night came when Jenkins’ shot banged off the crossbar with 2:37 to go.
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.