FINDLAY — Archbold continually flew up and down the field with the ball.
And when the Blue Streaks weren’t sprinting, they were passing with precision accuracy.
Archbold rolled to a 4-0 victory against Kalida in the Division III boys soccer regional semifinal Wednesday on a wet field at Findlay High School.
Archbold led 3-0 at the half, then went into a more defensive style in the second half.
“From front to back, they had very skilled players,” Kalida coach Mark Czubik said of Archbold. “They’re quick, fast and it’s a very strong team.’’
Archbold (19-1) advances to the regional finals Saturday at a time and site to be named against the Van Buren/Independence winner.
“Running is a big thing for us,” Archbold midfielder Josh Kidder said.
Kalida ends its year 10-4-6.
Kidder controlled the midfield and continually distributed the ball to the forwards.
“When you have a kid like Josh Kidder, he just makes everyone around him a little bit better,’’ Czubik said. “Josh did what he normally does, he kind of floated around the field and worked the ball around. And he has some very good complimentary players to go with him.’’
Kidder said the wet field played to his team’s advantage.
“We like to play as fast as we can, and the ball skipping around on the wet field helped us a lot,” Kidder said.
Kidder, Elijah Zimmerman and Clay Gerig all had one goal for Archbold.
Gerig had three assists.
Archbold outshot Kalida 11-4.
Archbold controlled possession about 75 percent of the time in the first half.
After buzzing the Kalida goal early, the Blue Streaks scored their first goal on an own goal.
Gerig, in the left corner of the 18-yard box, crossed the ball into the goalbox. The ball ricocheted off a Kalida defender and into the net for an own goal.
That gave Archbold a 1-0 lead with 33:29 left in the first half.
“It was important to get those goals early, “Archbold coach Sean Stewart said. “It just set the tone.’’
Archbold was now flying through the midfield at top speed.
The Blue Streaks played the ball to the corners, then crossed it into the box for scoring chances.
“That’s one of the things we strive to do,” Kidder said. “It moves the defenders back and forth, especially when they play a very, very deep defender.’’
That’s what happened when Archbold’s Trey Theobald played a ball out of the right corner to Gerig, on the right side of the goalbox.
Gerig slipped the ball across the goalbox to Zimmerman, who pounded it home from 6-yards out.
That made it 2-0 Archbold with 26:53 left in the half.
“We have a lot of attacking talent and a lot of guys who have scored a number of goals,” Stewart said. “And we have speed out wide.’’
Archbold’s third goal came late in the first half.
Gerig was set up a few yards inside the 18-yard box, when he passed it back to Kidder, who was 24-yards out, just behind the arc.
Kidder hit a low liner which found the net and it was 3-0 Blue Streaks with 14:11 left before the half.
“I called for it,” Kidder said. “He trusted that I would be there. I took a touch and hit it. … Getting that third goal was huge.’’
Gehrig scored for Archbold to make it 4-0 with 17:46 to play.
Archbold goalkeeper Noah Cheney made four saves.
Kalida goalkeeper Brayden Recker had eight saves.
Kalida had several offensive surges in the second half, but wasn’t able to find the net.
“It wasn’t like we didn’t have the ball down there at their end of the field. We just didn’t do a whole lot with it,” Czubik said. “That’s kind of been our bugaboo all year long.’’
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