By Rob Kiser
The progress continued for the Piqua boys soccer team Tuesday night at Wertz Stadium.
And even after a scoreless first half with visiting West Carrollton, the Indians players and coaches knew it was just a matter of time.
“Absolutely,” Piqua assistant coach Ryan Klopp said after the Indians 3-1 victory on the Wertz Stadium pitch. “What we did tonight and the way we moved the ball was a degradation of the West Carrollton defense.”
Still, the Indians missed on several good opportunities in the first half and again early in the second half when freshman Cade Lyman put the ball just over the West Carrollton net following a missed shot.
But, the Indians never let up with the offensive pressure and would soon get the results.
“It is a culture we are trying to build here,” Klopp said. “When the kids buy in, we are going to be very successful.”
The Indians finally broke through with 31:31.8 remaining in the game when Robbie Comstock had a perfect cross to Bradley Hohlbein, who drilled it past the Pirate keeper for the first goal of the night.
“We tell the kids every practice is a tryout,” Klopp said. “And Robbie Comstock and Kaden Jones have both shown why they are out there the last couple days and have stood out in practice.”
Lyman, who has scored four goals in the last two games, added the final two Piqua goals.
First he followed Hohlbein’s run to the goal.
Even though Hohlbein was fouled in the box, Lyman was there to put the ball in the net as play continued.
“We were going to get a PK there on the foul,” Klopp said. “The officials did a great job of letting play continue with us having an advantage.”
It was no surprise that Lyman was there to take advantage.
“I can develop a kid for four years, but there are two things Cade (Lyman) has that I can’t teach,” Klopp said. “Speed and a nose for the ball. He continues to clean up things around the goal. If he continues to develop and become a complete soccer player, he can really be something.”
West Carrollton made things interesting when Jefferson Orellana scored off an assist from Caleb Saldivar with 21:32 to go to make it 2-1.
But it took just two minutes for Jones to cross to Lyman for an insurance goal to provide the final margin.
“We never put our heads down,” Klopp said. “We just kept attacking.”
While the final numbers were pretty even with Piqua outshooting the Pirates 22-21 and both teams having five corner kicks, the quality of kicks weighed heavily in Piqua;s favor.
“Like I said, it was a degradation of their defense,” Klopp said.
Wesley Ford had 15 saves in goal for Piqua with the help of a strong defensive effort.
“He is another kid who has played goalie for four goals,” Klopp said. “We have plenty of time to develop him. We are looking to create a winning culture and we just want to keep clicking from here.”
For Piqua, 2-2-0, that will continue Thursday night when Fairmont visits for another GWOC crossover game.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.