KALIDA — The boys Division III sectionals moved into the next round on Thursday night at Kalida Soccer Stadium.
The Archbold Blue Streaks took on the Miller City Wildcats in the first match of the night. Russel Niese scored the first goal for the ’Cats a little over a minute into the contest but two unanswered goals by their Henry County foe proved to be all the Blue Streaks needed to move on as they came away with a 2-1 victory.
The second match of the night pitted Putnam County League archrivals Ottoville and Kalida, renewing acquaintances from earlier in the season with the Big Green coming away with the league win.
While the first match on the evening ended in regulation, the PCL rematch went the distance and then some. The Big Green and Wildcats battled into not one but two overtime periods before Ian Richey sent in a shot from 30 yards out that deflected off the head of Devin Kortokrax and by Ottoville keeper Colin Bendele, giving the host team a 1-0 victory and a date with Archbold on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.
The Wildcats outshot Ottoville 12-7 in the match with the first delivery coming off the boot of Kalida’s Austin Swift; the freshman had the first corner kick of the match a little more than five minutes in but Bendele gathered in it for the first of his six saves on the evening.
To say that the match was a contrast in halves would be an understatement; Ottoville controlled a better part of the 50/50 balls in the first half, where the Wildcats stepped things up in the second 40.
With the scoreboard still posting zeros for both sides, the Wildcats had their opportunities five minutes into the second half: a header from inside the box sailed over the Ottoville net, then Richie sent in a series of attempts from long range.
A delivery from 35 yards out ended in a 2-hopper to Bendele with 34:38 to go in regulation.
Richie attempted again nine minutes later from 10 yards closer with the same result.
The adage “if at first you don’t succeed” appeared to be on Richie’s mind as the junior tried again from 40 yards out and with just over three minutes to go, a strike from 30 yards away, all ending in the hands of the Big Green goalie.
Ottoville had but one lone real attempt by Dylan Klima from just inside the penalty area; Drew Hovest (5 saves) gathered in, keeping the match scoreless.
The first overtime period was dominated by the Green; nonetheless, three attempts at the Kalida net would result in either wide shots or a save by Hovest.
The Wildcats had one corner kick in the period fall short.
Ottoville got the first real opportunity in the second overtime when Klima got a head on a free kick from about 30 yards out; the shot scooted through the bevy of players in the box where Hovest picked up the ground ball for the save.
At the other end of the pitch, Ryan Korte sent in the ’Cats’ first endeavour at the Ottoville net; from 30 yards away the ball sailed high over the goal, giving the Green a goal kick at the 12:20 mark.
The ball barely made it back into the Big Green end as Kalida got the winning score moments later: from 45 yards away, Richie sent yet another delivery into the box but this time it ricochet off of Kortokrax and into the back of the net, stunning the Big Green and those in attendance.
The win puts Kalida in the sectional finals for the second year in a row and ends a very good season for the Ottoville Big Green.
In the opener, Archbold won the shots on-goal 21-18, with the Wildcat keeper saving eight and the Blue Streak counterpart seven.
Nofziger scored at 6:24 of the first and H, Bontrager at 24:48 of the second to seal the deal.