SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — Shawnee simply stayed calm and pounded the ball into the back of the net.
St. Marys, on the other hand, got frustrated and came apart at the seams.
Shawnee’s Austin Miller had a three-goal hat trick to power the Indians to a 5-0 boys soccer victory over St. Marys Thursday at Shawnee.
In was a match in which St. Marys was called for six yellow cards and one red card.
“That’s the style. That’s their strategy,” Shawnee coach Ryan Quatman said. “I give them credit for having a strategy, coming out physical. I think that can knock teams off their game. I don’t think they were planning on getting yellows, but they were planning on coming here and making it a physical game and they did. And they made it tough for us.’’
When asked if there is a difference between physical play and crossing the line, Quatman said, “That’s why we have the officials.’’
The match was a battle for first place in the Western Buckeye League.
Shawnee is 7-1-1, 5-0 in the WBL. St. Marys is 9-2, 4-1 in the WBL.
Shawnee led 2-0 at the half.
St. Marys was called for five yellow cards and one red (on the coaching staff) in the first half.
“It was really physical,” Miller said. “Two good teams going at it, you expect it to be physical. It was a physical game, for sure. The refs did a good job keeping it under control.
“Our team has always done a good job of keeping a level head and not getting too emotional.’’
With two yellows and a red card on the St. Marys’ coaches in the first half, St. Marys head coach Josh Hertenstein was ejected.
Acting St. Marys coach Pat Larkin said, “It was an emotional game. We knew that coming in. We were both undefeated in the WBL. They got two quick ones on us.
“They’re a very well coached team and we couldn’t get it going.’’
Shawnee controlled 90 percent of the match and outshot St. Marys, 14-3.
Shawnee goalkeeper Jack Tenwalde made three saves.
St. Maris goalkeeper Cayden Ballweg had seven saves.
Miller also had an assist on the night.
Alex McGuire had a goal for Shawnee.
Sam Tenwalde had a goal and an assist.
Both Shawnee first-half goals were scored off corner kicks.
Shawnee took a 1-0 lead with 29:53 left in the first half off a Luca Fusillo corner kick.
Miller headed the ball off the corner, but the ball whacked the right post and went right to Tenwalde at the left post.
Tenwalde gave a one-touch shot into the net to make it 1-0.
“It was a great ball in by Luca,” Miller said. “I was able to jump up and get it and Sam was in position and able to finish it.’’
Shawnee’s second goal was scored off a McGuire corner kick that went right though the St. Marys goalkeeper’s hands.
That came with 15:47 left in the first half.
Five yellows and the one red card by St. Marys came in the final 15 minutes of the first half after it trailed 2-0.
“We knew it would be a physical game, Quatman said. “We can play physical, but it’s a different kind of physical.’’
Shawnee kicked its lead to 3-0 with 39:22 to go when Tenwalde pushed a pass through two defenders to an open Miller 35-yards out. Miller dribbled into the box and fired a shot from 10-yards out into the net.
“It was a great ball by Sam,” Miller said. “The defense took a step up toward him and I was able to run in behind him and Sam slotted me a great ball.’’
Luca Fusillo got a quick start after a penalty was called on St. Marys and knocked a pass to Miller, 30-yards out.
Miller again went into the box on a breakaway and fired a shot into the net.
That gave Shawnee a 4-0 with 21:01 to go.
Shawnee then got Miller loose on a counter attack after St. Marys was pushing its offense forward.
Miller came in the left side of the box on a breakaway and fired home a shot from 8-yards out.
That gave Miller the hat trick at 8:27. It also gave Shawnee a convincing 5-0 lead.
The Shawnee defense had a strong game in the back with Noah Scheid, Noah Neth, Ethan Parlapiano and Caleb Miller.
The four defenders continually stopped the St. Marys’ runs.
Tom Usher wrote this story for The Lima News. Reach The Lima News sports department at 567-242-0468.