OTTOVILLE — On a beautiful Friday autumn night, the Wildcats of Miller City took on their Putnam County League counterparts, the Big Green of Ottoville, in a key boys soccer showdown at the Ottoville Sports Complex.
This night also marked Senior Night for nine players on the Ottoville roster. Head coach Eric Gerker presented each player and his parents a signed soccer ball and thanked them for their hard work and dedication to the program. The seniors were Dylan Klima, Matt Burgei, Austin Schroeder, Austin Meyer, Bryan Hohlbein, Anthony Eickholt, Cory Fischer, Grant Altenburger and Logan Gable.
Gerker was quick to point out how special this group played this night: “I thought the seniors really stepped up tonight. They were the ones that were going to lead the ship tonight. Got some excellent play out of Matt on the back side and Anthony up front until he got sick. Dylan played a good game. aYou don’t always see what he does in the stats column; however, he gave great effort tonight. I thought Logan and Austin probably played their best game of the year tonight.”
As is the case when two PCL teams hit the soccer field, the play was intense, physical and goals were at a premium.
It wasn’t until the 6:47 mark of the first half that a goal was scored and it proved to be the one and only of the evening. Eickholt, Ottoville’s leading scorer on the year, added to his total with a slicing shot past Wildcat senior goalie Austin Lammers to give his team a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcats were held scoreless throughout the match but it wasn’t from lack of effort.
The visitors applied pressure on the Big Green defense throughout the night and actually outshot the home team 9-8 for the contest.
Seniors Ross Kaufman and Stijn Van Wezel and freshman Jackson Lammers often found themselves with opportunities on the offensive end but were unable to get that tying goal for their team.
The Wildcats (5-6, 1-3 PCL) will travel to Liberty Center on Tuesday for a 4:30 junior varsity start and 6 p.m. varsity match.
The Big Green (8-3-1, 1-1 PCL) will not play until next Friday when they travel to Kalida for a key PCL match with the Wildcats.
Miller City 0 0 - 0
Ottoville 1 0 - 1
Shots on-Goal - Miller City (9), Ottoville (8). Saves - Miller City - A. Lammers (7), Bendele (9). Goals - Ottoville - Eickholt.