BATH TOWNSHIP – Sometimes a coach needs to call a timeout. And sometimes a coach needs a long weather delay.
In Tuesday’s first soccer game of the 9th annual Bath Kick-Off Classic, less than nine minutes into the first matchup of the night – featuring Lima Central Catholic and Paulding – thunder and lightning made its presence known, forcing a weather delay.
For Lima Central Catholic boys’ head coach Tim McNamara, the weather delay could not have come at a better time.
LCC managed to score quickly to start the game. However, McNamara felt that his team was not playing with the right level of intensity, early on.
The pep talk during the weather delay, and then later at halftime, proved to be enough to rally the T-Birds to a 5-2 victory over Paulding.
With the win, LCC will take on Continental Thursday around 7 p.m. for the championship.
In Tuesday’s second contest, Continental defeated Bath, 1-0. Andrew Hoeffel scored the lone goal for Continental. Paulding will take on Bath in Thursday’s consolation game, which will start at 5 p.m.
After a first half in which the game was knotted at 2-2 at halftime, LCC came out in the second half and unloaded a barrage of shots at Paulding goalkeeper Dominic Carnahan (four saves).
In the first half, the T-Birds took five shots on goal. In the final 40 minutes of action, LCC pounded 10 shots on goal.
“The first half was kind of a mess. We got an early goal and then gave one back in less than a minute,” McNamara said. “Then we had the delay. We came back out and talked to them about playing with more intensity. … And they did. They came out and scored another goal, but then gave up another one.
“So, the captains talked to the team at halftime. In the second half, we came out and did things the right way, played much better, with more intensity and put more pressure on the ball. We got more shot attempts and put them away.”
LCC opened the game with a goal from Colin Guagenti, just 1:26 into the contest. Guagenti got in close to the goal and snuck it past Carnahan.
However, Paulding answered, just a minute later on a goal from Kolya Paschall, to knot the game at 1 apiece.
The T-Birds got a goal from Brayden Truex, 10 minutes later to claim a 2-1 lead.
Then two minutes later, Paulding’s Andrew Adams got a nice feed from teammate Zach Gorrell and drove it in from 10 yards out, knotting the game at 2 each.
The halftime pep talk must have worked for the T-Birds.
LCC kept the ball near its goal for most of the second half. Truex scored his second goal of the game, 10 minutes into the second half to give the T-Birds a 3-2 advantage.
LCC kept pushing the tempo, peppering shots all around the box.
Michael Taflinger and Josiah Simpson each had a goal for LCC in the second half to put the game out of reach.
“They had two subs and a couple injuries,” McNamara said about Paulding’s situation. “So, they were down to their last 11 (players). They were starting to get gassed. So, we were able to push it a little bit harder, put in more subs and do what we needed to do.”
After a first half in which Paulding took five shots on goal, the Panthers struggled in the second half, taking just two shots on goal.
“We only had three (substitutes) to start with. … We had a kid get a concussion on Saturday,” first-year Paulding head coach Dalton Bradford said. “So, that leaves us with two. By the end of the first half, we were pretty well drained. We didn’t have anything left, but we showed a lot of fight, not giving up too many goals.”
McNamara said, at least early on, it will be a work in progress for his team.
“We’re trying to find different combinations, different formations,” McNamara said. “We lost our goal scorer (Trey Horstman) from last year. So, we’re trying to find who is going to be out on top and who is going to be scoring goals. We’ve had a couple injuries already. So, we’ve been trying to replace them.”
However, McNamara does have the luxury of returning a slew of players.
“We lost two seniors from last year. So, everyone else came back. We have a very good core. It’s just a matter of trying to fit everyone where they need to be,” McNamara said