LIMA – A loose ball in front the net often spells chaos.
And it was that kind of a wild scramble for the ball which gave Wapakoneta its first goal of the match.
Wapakoneta ended up with a 2-0 victory over Lima Central Catholic in a boys soccer match Saturday morning at Spartan Stadium.
It was the opening match for both teams.
The match started at 11 a.m., and with plenty of freshmen seeing time on both sides, the first half lacked in quality passing and offensive surges.
LCC started one freshmen and had three on the field a lot of the time.
“We’ll go back to practice and work on some things,” LCC coach Tim McNamara said. “For the first game of the season, the performance wasn’t bad. I’d like a better result, but we have to tweak some things and get everyone in their spots.
“Once we get in that midseason form, I think we’ll be all right.’’
Wapak started five freshmen.
“There were only three players out there (for Wapak) who had any varsity playing time last year,” Wapak coach Keith Rambin said. “So it took the first half to settle in and settle down. We’re still trying to figure out who needs to be where.
“In the second half, we kind of settled down and controlled it a lot better. We dominated the possession in the second half.’’
Both teams picked up the pace in the second half, especially the Redskins.
With 20:06 left in the match, Wapak’s Kaleb Place took a corner kick out of the left corner.
Freshman Gavin Ainsworth headed the ball near the top of the box and the ball bounced into the goal box.
From there, the LCC defenders had chances for a clear.
Wapak tried to get a foot on the ball, as it danced through the goal box.
The ball ended up on the foot of senior Austin Schulte, who pounded the ball into the back of the net to give the Redskins a 1-0 lead.
“Gavin headed it in and I saw an opportunity to poke it in,” Schulte said. “It was pretty big and pretty lucky, too.’’
Added Rambin, “It took a lot of things for it to work. … A lot of things had to happen to get A.J. (Schulte) to poke that in. That goal was a little luck and we happened to be at the right spot at the right time.’’
Wapak continued with its offensive push after the goal.
With 2:33 to play, Wapak’s Graham Kneer fed the ball to Place in the left corner of the 18-yard box.
Place got within 10 yards and fired a low liner into the net to give Wapak a 2-0 lead.
After Wapak had only one shot in the first half, it ended up with seven shots. LCC also had seven shots.
Wapak had four corner kicks, while LCC didn’t have a corner.
LCC veteran goalkeeper Jack Zerante had four saves, including making a strong stop in the final two minutes.
Wapak goalkeeper Trey Ware had four saves.
Rambin said the Redskins had to adjust to LCC’s Zerante coming way out of his net and gobbling up through balls at the top of the 18-yard box.
“He (Zerante) comes out very, very high and it’s going to take the perfect pass to slot it through the middle and for him not to chew it up,” Rambin said. “So we had to work the sides (of the field) a little more.”
Wapak had more offensive chances and took control of the midfield the final 25 minutes of the match.
“We were winning 50-50 balls in the second half,” Schulte said. “That was big.’’
LCC had a few quality shots, including when freshman Michael Taflinger’s shot rang off the left goal post with seven minutes left in the first half.
“We had the opportunities (in the first half),” McNamara said. “In the second half we lost that momentum and they came back.’’