ELIDA — Elida did a good job corralling Wapakoneta’s second team all-state scoring machine Alex Lause.
So Wapakoneta found other ways to create offense.
Wapakoneta’s Luke Beach had a goal and an assist to power the Redskins to a 2-1 victory over Elida on Tuesday.
Wapakoneta is 6-1-1 and 3-0 in the Western Buckeye League. Elida, which graduated seven starters from last year, is 2-3, 1-2 in the WBL.
Elida led 1-0 at the half and had totally outhustled veteran Wapakoneta at that point.
“I’m very pleased with the way we played in the first half and we pretty much dictated the first half,” Elida coach Tom Thomas said. “We got a goal up, but missed a couple of opportunities to put the game away. But, with the youth and the inexperience, the second half got away from us.”
The Redskins had a nice “chat” with their coach Keith Rambin at halftime and they came out with passion at both ends in the second half.
“After a bit of a butt chewing at halftime, we had to get our intensity back up,” Beach said.
Rambin said, “We came out very flat. We didn’t take Elida for granted. They beat us 6-0 in the district last year. At halftime, I told them our spacing discipline between our back line and our midfield and between our midfield and our front line was too big. We had way too many turnovers.
“We had one of those heart-to-heart talks at halftime and they came out with more of a sense of urgency.’’
Wapakoneta outshot Elida 10-7 for the match.
Beach, a second team all-WBL player last year, broke up the 1-1 tie off a set free kick from 30-yards out.
Beach sent the ball into the goal box and Kaleb Benny headed it into the back of the net. That gave Wapakoneta the lead to stay 2-1 with 19:33 to go.
“I wanted to put it in the box and hope someone would get a head on it,” Beach said. “And he did.”
Elida’s defense was all over Lause, who has 10 goals on the year. Jake Taylor, Cade Parker and Riley Bartels took their turns following him wherever he went.
Lause ended up with two official shots, but several others sailed over the crossbar, including one on a breakaway in the first half.
Elida scored first on a give-and-go play with freshman Logan Johnson and freshman Draek Littler. Littler sent a pass into the left side of the 18-yard box to Johnson, who chipped the ball back to Littler 10-yards out and in front of the keeper. Littler headed it in to give Elida a 1-0 lead with 9:51 left before halftime.
Wapakoneta tied the match at 1 when Kaden Ware, at the top of the arc, sent a pass to Beach’s foot charging down the left side of the box. Beach blasted the shot into the lower-right corner of the net with 32:11 to play.
“Credit to him (Ware). He hit me right where I needed it,” Beach said.
Wapakoneta goalkeeper Noah Ritchie had six saves for the win. Elida sophomore goalkeeper Caleb Jones made four saves.
Thomas felt his young team could build on a few things, especially the way the Bulldogs played in the first half.
“We made a couple of mistakes tonight and it cost us, but we’re going to learn from it,’’ Thomas said.
The Lima News sports department can be reached at 567-242-0451.