ELIDA – Both Bath and Elida came into Thursday’s Western Buckeye league boys soccer matchup, seeking its first league victory. Elida also was searching for its first overall win of the young season.
Both squads have been working hard to find the right combination.
By the end of the 80 minutes of regulation play, longtime Elida head coach Tom Thomas was pleased at how his team responded.
Elida (1-3-0, 1-1-0 WBL) jumped out to an early lead, and pushed forward for a 4-1 win over Bath (1-5-0, 0-2-0 WBL) at the Elida Sports Complex.
On the night, Elida out-shot Bath 9-5.
Thomas said he doesn’t want his team to relax, once it gets an early lead.
“It maybe takes a little bit of the pressure off,” Thomas said in reference to getting an early advantage. “When we get up early on a team, we like to step on the gas a little bit more and try to put them away. Luckily, we put four in the back of the net tonight. It was good to get a win.”
Senior midfielder Logan Develvis got Elida on the scoreboard early.
Less than 10 minutes into the contest, Develvis received a nice feed from senior Tyler Long, and promptly drove it past Bath goalkeeper Jeremy Jeffery, from just outside the box.
The Bulldogs did not let up.
At the 14:56 mark of the first half, sophomore Ethan Thomas broke loose on a fast break and pushed it into the back of the net, giving Elida a 2-0 lead. On the night, Thomas had three shots on goal.
However, Bath had an answer.
A little more than a minute later, Tanner Delecerda got a foot on the ball off a direct kick, and cut the Elida lead to 2-1.
In the first half, Elida out-shot Bath 4-2.
However, in the second half, the Bulldogs closed the door.
With 19 minutes left to play, Jonathan Flores got a deflection off a shot and pushed it past Jeffery for Elida’s third goal of the contest.
Then 37 seconds later, senior forward Aidan Bartels drove one into the back of the net, to round out the scoring for Elida.
For the game, Bartels took three shots on goal.
Coach Thomas praised his team’s performance, especially at the defensive end.
“Our back four typically does a pretty good job for us. They did really well in the back and limited Bath on their attacks,” Thomas said.
Keaton Liles led Bath with two shots on goal.
Elida goalkeeper Scott Holmgren had four saves on the night.
“We’re still playing around with a few things,” Coach Thomas said. “We got a mixture of juniors, seniors, sophomores and freshmen. It’s a pretty good mix. The guys are trying to figure out on how we want to line up and what the system is going to be. So, it’s getting there. The guys did well tonight. They came out and played with a sense of urgency.”
Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0451.