Like the match, the St. Marys boys soccer team had its plans of rolling to a third Western Buckeye League win interrupted, but only for a little while.
A lightning delay and and an early deficit didn’t stop St. Marys from staying perfect in the WBL.
The Roughriders overcame stiff resistence from the Elida Bulldogs to score three second half goals — two of them via penalty kicks — to pull away for a 4-2 win on Tuesday in a game that was delayed about a half hour with 5:05 left in the first half.
St. Marys junior Zac Nelson scored three goals on the night.
“It was a great game,” St. Marys head coach Dave Ring said. “It was a bizarre game, but we’ve been on the losing end of some of those bizarre games in the past. There was adversity and some pressure on us to finish on those penalty kicks and not squander those opportunities.”
St. Marys played from behind after Elida jumped out to a 1-0 lead 11 minutes into the match.
The Roughriders matched that score with 24:15 left in the first half. After Zach Wilker dribbled into the heart of the Elida defense, he passed to Nathan Wilker, who booted the ball into the net and leapt over Elida’s goalkeeper to tie up the game 1-1.
The officials spotted lightning with five minutes left in the half. When the teams resumed the final minutes of the first half Elida controlled the ball.
St. Marys head coach Dave Ring thought Elida came out of the delay with more energy than his group.
“We didn’t and Elida definitely did,” Ring said. “We got a couple of breaks and then finally changed the momentum.”
St. Marys got the game to the half tied 1-1 and the Roughriders rectified any lackof energy in the second half after a shortened halftime break with three second-half goals.
Zac Nelson scored on the first of two St. Marys goals via penalty kick with 34:45 in the second half after Zach Wilker was pushed inside the 18-yard box.
St. Marys goalkeeper Stuart Yahl made a diving save with 32:15 left in the second half to maintain the Riders’ 2-1 lead, but Elida did get the game-tying score with 27:59 with a kick to the left side of the net.
St. Mary went ahead on Nelson's second penalty kick after another push inside the 18-yard box.
The Riders extended the lead to 4-2 with Nelson’ third goal of the game with 14:58 left to the left side of the net.
St. Marys will get back on the pitch on Saturday when they travel to Lima Central Catholic for a 4 p.m. match.
Van Wert hosts Elida next Monday in WBL play.