SHAWNEE TOWNSHIP — St. Marys boys head soccer coach Dave Ring could only shake his head while considering how the Western Buckeye League title race played out.
A week ago the Roughriders’ win over state-ranked Ottawa-Glandorf opened the door to a WBL title for the very opponent that was celebrating on the pitch at Shawnee High School after beating his Roughriders 4-1 on Thursday.
Photos: St. Marys at Shawnee boys soccer
“Shawnee won the WBL because we beat O-G and we beat ourselves,” Ring said after a lengthy emotional speech to his team following the game.
Shawnee handed St. Marys its first loss of the season.
Shawnee’s Trey Brock and Andrew Ritchie scored two goals apiece as the Indians clinched at least a share of the WBL title for the second time in three seasons and for the fourth time in the last seven seasons.
Ottawa-Glandorf rolled to a 9-0 win over Van Wert to grab the other half of the WBL crown.
The score betrayed just how close the match played between the Roughriders and the Indians.
Shawnee led 1-0 late into the match when St. Marys — needing a win and an Ottawa-Glandorf loss win the WBL title — pulled goalkeeper Luke Leffel. Shawnee added three open-net goals in rapid succession.
“I know some coaches worry about the score,” Ring said. “I worry about trying to win. Instead of ‘Oh, we lost 1-0 in a valiant fight’, I thought we lost 4-1 in a valiant fight. We can live with that.”
St. Marys’ Zach Wilker scored a goal in the game’s final 10 seconds to put St. Marys on the board, but Ring never felt his Roughriders played their game.
“We played their game,” Ring said. “We could not get our possession going. We could not get in a rhythm. It wasn’t so much them as it was us. They were kicking the ball into the defense and running after it and being successful with it, and we were doing the exact same thing. We were mirroring what we were seeing and totally went away from our gameplan.”
St. Marys doesn’t have much time to bounce back. They go to Greenville on Saturday for a 2 p.m. match and then open sectional play against the winner of Elida and Wapakoneta on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 5:30 p.m.
St. Marys hadn’t lost a match since the sectional final on the same Shawnee field against Elida last Oct. 22.
“It’s been a heck of a run,” Ring said about the 14 straight matches without a loss this season.