ST. MARYS – The St. Marys boys soccer team toppled another state-ranked opponent and kept a path cleared to its long-sought first Western Buckeye League title.
Patrizio Martinez Rodriguez’s putback goal with 13 minutes left in the first half was the lone score in a 1-0 victory over No. 6 Ottawa-Glandorf.
Photos: Ottawa-Glandorf at St. Marys Memorial Boys Soccer
The Roughrider players and the student section stormed the pitch at midfield to celebrate another major win.
For St. Marys’ seven seniors, it was their last match at home. The Roughriders (10-0-3, 5-0-2) close the season at Van Wert, Shawnee and Greenville before sectional play.
“It’s the best way to leave this field — beating O-G,” St. Marys senior Brennan Brown said as he was surrounded by a rain-soaked student section celebrating on the pitch.
The Roughriders toppled their second state-ranked team of the season. St. Marys defeated then third-ranked Bath 5-0 on Sept. 11.
“They’ve got great heart,” St. Marys head coach Dave Ring said. “They’re still young and learning the game and still learning what it is to be at this level.”
St. Marys shut out a team for the eighth time this season.
“That ties the school record for shutouts in a season,” St. Marys freshman defender Nathan Wilker said. “It was tough because we had to play almost the whole second half on our side. It was challenging, but I’m glad we got the shutout.”
Martinez scored after Dylan Zink got a step on his defender and just missed on a shot. The ball ricocheted back out and Martinez booted the ball into the left side of the net with 13:38 left to send the crowd at the West School field into a roar.
“We’ve been working on our finish, getting that finish and taking care of it and that’s what we did,” Ring said.
St. Marys improved to 10-0-3 and is 5-0-2 in WBL play.The Riders’ only hiccups have been ties against Elida, Celina and Ottoville.
O-G is 6-1 and Shawnee is 5-1 in league play.
St. Marys will go to Van Wert on Thursday and then go to Shawnee for another big WBL match against the Indians on Oct. 11.