ST. MARYS – Kenton just came barreling through the midfield and there wasn’t a whole lot St. Marys could do about it.
Kenton dominated St. Marys in a 4-0 boys soccer victory Monday at St. Marys.
Kenton led 1-0 at the half and pulled away with three second-half goals.
Kenton is 7-0-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the Western Buckeye League.
Kenton was coming off a WBL 1-1 tie at Defiance.
“After that game, we were hungry to get back out here for another WBL match and take it to the next team,” Kenton’s Hayden Hicks said. “The heart we had in this game was just amazing.’’
Kenton coach Jamie Bartlett was proud of his team’s complete effort, front to back.
It marked Kenton’s first win at St. Marys since 2004.
“It was long overdue,” coach Bartlett said. “And it was probably our most complete game of the year.’’
St. Marys is 6-2-1, 2-2 in the WBL.
Shawnee sits atop the WBL at 3-0 (nine points).
Hicks had two goals for Kenton.
“I’m recently healthy,” Hicks said. “I had a quad injury, so now I can finally run full speed.’’
Nick Anderson and Patrick Bartlett both scored one.
Landon Bartlett, a second team all-state player last year, had two assists.
Kenton outshot St. Marys 16-6.
“We were 100 percent outhustled,” St. Marys coach Josh Hertenstein said. “They were a little bit better than us, but we were outclassed in hustle and effort the whole night.’’
Kenton goalkeeper Luke Woodruff had four saves.
St. Marys goalkeeper Correy Nelson had seven saves.
Kenton controlled most of the first half (7-2 shots), but the score was only 1-0 at the half.
The goal came at the 27:18 mark off a corner kick by Landon Bartlett, who lofted it into the goal box. Patrick Bartlett stood in the heart of the goal box and headed it in to give Kenton a 1-0 lead.
Hicks’ first goal came on a breakaway after picking up a loose ball 35-yards out.
Hicks dribbled down the right wing, entered the 18-yard back and cut back to the left. He connected on a shot from 12-yards out.
“I figured if I could get the angle and beat the defender to the ball, I could get that touch,” Hicks said. “Then, I cut it back to my left and put it in.’’
That made it 2-0 with 37:21 to go.
Landon Bartlett then dribbled into the box and reached the top of the right side of the goal box before sliding a pass across the box to a waiting Nick Anderson.
Anderson one-timed a shot from 7-yards out and it was 3-0 with 27:26 to go.
Hicks again scored on a breakaway into the box to make it 4-0 with 3:20 to go.
Defensively, the Wildcats were steady with center defenders Patrick Bartlett and Isaac Mendez leading the way.
“Our defense is fantastic,” coach Bartlett said. “When that ball goes in the box, I have two guys (Patrick Bartlett and Mendez) who will win probably 95 percent of them. And I have a keeper back (Luke Woodruff) there who can clear up a lot of traffic.’’
Kenton seemed to gobble up every loose ball in the final 20 minutes.
“Our team gave up,” Hertenstein said of the second half. “We didn’t have the heart in the second half that we did in the first half.’’