Perrysburg’s defense steps up in 2-0 win over St. Ed’s

PERRYSBURG — For Perrysburg boys soccer, it was about avenging last year’s 4-1 loss to Lakewood St. Edward.

At Steinecker Stadium’s Widdell Field Saturday, the Yellow Jackets improved to 3-0-1 by handing the Eagles (2-1) their first loss of the season, 2-0.

“You know, last time we lost big time at their place, so we wanted to get revenge this time,” said Perrysburg junior goalkeeper Isaac Revill, who got his first shutout this season.

Perrysburg junior forward Alexander Diaz broke a scoreless tie with his team-leading seventh goal with a little help from senior forward Abdul Hasheem and senior midfielder James Xiao, who got the assist.

“I picked up the ball on the halfway line and I tried to make a play and get around a defender and lay it off to James Xiao,” Diaz said. “Abdul Hashman makes a fantastic run across the face of the 18-yard box, and I see that, so the space that he makes created space for me to make a run outside.

“James Xiao put a fantastic cross to me and I just meant to get there, so it was a great feeling,” Diaz continued.

Diaz’s goal did not happen until the 9:05 mark of the first half, meaning over 30 minutes of scoreless soccer had already been played.

Another 30 minutes passed by before Perrysburg senior forward Keegan Motter got his fourth goal, sending a hooking corner kick toward the St. Ed’s keeper, who deflected it before it passed over him and into the net.

“It was fantastic, just inside that net,” Perrysburg coach Dennis Jeansomme said.

“He is going to try and put that (in front of the net) and that was ball was just bending in and the keeper had to try and make a save. Fortunately, he got a hand on it but not enough.”

Motter’s goal gave Perrysburg a 2-0 lead with 16:05 remaining. No one saw Motter’s goal coming, not even Diaz.

“I wasn’t expecting it but to be fair we deserved it, I think. It was perfectly placed and gave the goalie a lot of trouble for him to mishit it and it ends up going into the goal,” Diaz said.

The Yellow Jackets still had to battle to preserve the shutout. Once accomplished, the credit not only goes to Revill, but to his midfielders and defenders.

“My defensive line did great today,” Revill said. “They were following the runs when they needed to, they cleared the ball when they needed to, and they distributed well.”

St. Ed’s outshot Perrysburg, 7-3, in the first half with Revill making four saves, and one St. Ed shot hit the post. Perrysburg had just two shots on goal, including Diaz’s score.

Four different Yellow Jackets came up with key non-goalie saves, including Motter, Hasham, junior defender Taylor Thomas, and senior midfielder Andrew Mack Jr.

“The defensive line played strong, and they had to,” Jeansomme said. “It was the talk for us at halftime of actually trying to keep a clean sheet and do everything we can on defense to protect.”

Revill got a little unorthodox, too. He ran out of the box to make a clean and successful diving tackle on a St. Ed’s forward charging to the net from the right side, stopping him cold in his tracks.

“On that one by the corner, I just got aggressive and just took a chance,” Revill said.

In the second half, Perrysburg outshot St. Ed’s 9-2 with Revill getting two more saves to finish with six.

The Yellow Jackets’ offense controlled the flow of the second half, garnering seven shots on goal, plus they forced 15 goal kicks and punts, while Revill only needed three goal kicks and one punt.

“The second half I was pretty bored out there,” Revill said. “The defense was doing all the work, and this was a big game for us.”

In addition, Mack, Thomas and sophomore defender Isaac Klapper had big second half non-goalie saves to preserve the shutout.