By Rob Kiser
Piqua assistant coach Danny Henry couldn’t have been more pleased with the effort and execution of the Piqua boys soccer team Tuesday in GWOC American action against Tippecanoe at Wertz Stadium.
While the Red Devils improved to 8-1-1 overall and 7-0 in GWOC American play, the 4-1 victory over Piqua didn’t reflect the intensity of the game.
The Indians dropped to 5-2-1 overall and 4-1 in GWOC American play.
“I thought the kids did a great job,” Henry said. “They worked hard out there the whole game. Really, we had a couple things that didn’t go our way or it is a 2-1 game.”
Piqua’s plan was to put a lot of people back in the box and hope to pressure Tippecanoe into mistakes.
“Tippecanoe does a really good job attacking and crossing the ball,” Henry said. “We wanted to make sure we pressured them.”
It didn’t look like it was going to work early, when Ben Sauls scored a quick goal with 37:28.4 remaining in the opening half.
But, the Indians plan began to frustrate the Red Devils — along with a number of big saves by Wesley Ford — and Tipp could not score the rest of the half.
In fact, with 1:30 to go Cade Lyman had a shot off a Spencer Lavey ball to tie it, but was just wide.
“To hold a team like Tipp to one goal in the first half was pretty impressive,” Henry said. “Especially, after giving up a goal just three minutes into the game.”
Then, Kaden Jones brought the Piqua crowd to life with a goal with 38:02.4 remaining in the game on a breakaway to tie it 1-1.
“Actually, Kaden (Jones) did all that on his own,” Henry said. “He was able to pressure them, take the ball and create a breakaway. It was a great play by Kaden.”
But, Sauls answered with his second goal just two minutes later.
Tipp was able to add with two more goals, both on which it look like the Piqua keeper had originally made the stop.
The first came on a save attempt by Ford — the second with Lavey in goal after Ford was injured. Lavey had several nice saves after replacing Ford.
Andrew DeBrosse and Caiden Smith had goals for Tippecanoe, while Sauls and Michael Pfister had assists.
“They gave them the one goal on the call,” Henry said. “But, really, when you look at it, it was a 2-1 game.”
Piqua will look to continue that momentum Thursday when Xenia visits.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.