Roughriders Lose Perfect Season To Celina

St. Marys' Dylan Engel fights off a Celina defender on his way to the goal on Tuesday in a Western Buckeye League match.
Sports Editor

The perfect season is no more.

The Celina Bulldogs entered a hustle Roughrider Field on Tuesday night and took care of business, defeating St. Marys 2-1 in Western Buckeye League action and extending the Roughriders’ losing streak to the Bulldogs to four games.

But not to worry, everything is still on the table for the Roughriders to take control and win – at worst – a share of the WBL title. St. Marys is tied with Celina in the league standings with 16 points, and both teams have two league games remaining.

The Bulldogs (9-1-0, 6-0-0 WBL) applied pressure to the Roughriders’ (10-1-0, 6-1-0) vaunted defense most of the night and it started early and often.

Celina tallied seven shots on goal, threatening a handful more, and finally connecting when Payton Smalley threw the ball in from the sidelines, finding Garrett Weininger, who headed the ball in the back of the net for a 1-0 lead with 23:01 left in the first half.

St. Marys answered, however, at the 7:48 mark when Austin Wilker passed the ball to Dylan Engel in the middle of the field. Engel temporarily lost the ball, but regained possession, streaking down the field and connecting to tie the game up at 1-1.

The Riders’ goal snapped a three-game scoreless streak by the Bulldogs’ defense and the first goal allowed since Sept. 13.

In the second half, however, the Bulldogs’ offense wore out the Roughriders’ defense. Celina recorded 10 shots on goal in the second half, 17 overall, but Luke Vondrell was up for the challenge.

The Riders’ fill-in keeper played like a regular starter, collecting 12 saves on the night, especially some close headers in the second half.

But there was still one that got away.

To see the full story, grab Wednesday's print edition of The Evening Leader.