PERRYSBURG — Perrysburg has only two seniors on its girls soccer roster, but they are already showing the footwork of a veteran team.
Four different Perrysburg players scored as the Yellow Jackets shut out Sylvania Northview, 4-0, in a Northern Lakes League Buckeye Division game Wednesday at Steinecker Stadium.
“We’re getting better,” Perrysburg coach Jorge Diaz said. “We have a lot of youth and I think they are starting to buy into the system. We have a lot of speed and people who can finish, so that is a good thing.”
Even with two seniors, one of them, midfielder Avery Zeisloft is the one the underclassmen look to for leadership.
“Avery is the leader,” Diaz said. “She got a good second goal (in the win over Northview) and we’re excited for her leadership, but our younger kids are starting to buy into the system. That is the biggest thing.”
The Yellow Jackets stayed unbeaten overall and in NLL play, improving to 4-0-1 and 2-0 in the Buckeye Division. The Wildcats fell to 5-2-1 and 1-1.
Perrysburg sophomore midfielder Sophie Mitchell, who had one goal on three shots and 11 steals, says the team’s footwork skills have been improving since the first day of practice.
“I think we’ve come a long way,” Mitchell said. “We’ve practiced on our finishing and passing and I just thinking it’s been working a lot.
“We are really good at passing, we’ve been working a lot on that in practice, and I think it really paid off during the game.”
Perrysburg sophomore midfielder Camille Francis scored first on a cross from freshman striker Lauren McConnachie just 11 minutes and 26 seconds after the opening kickoff.
“Camille is an amazing player, and she does amazing stuff,” said junior midfielder Grace Lagendonk, who takes most of the team’s corner kicks and direct free kicks.
Over 21 minutes later, Lagendonk sent a corner kick that was caught perfectly by Ziesloft, giving the Jackets a 2-0 lead with 6:58 remaining in the first half.
Lagendonk says when she puts a CK into the air, she is confident a teammate will find the other end.
“My teammates are very, very good in the air, and I have complete trust in them of getting it into them,” Lagendonk said. “My goal is to set them up and they finish the job.”
Northview had gotten the game’s first three corner kicks, all in the first 10 minutes, but from that point on Perrysburg had 12 corner kick opportunities. The Wildcats did not get another corner kick the final 60-plus minutes of the game.
In the second half, sophomore forward Emma Ogdahl sent a cross to junior forward Alexis Kaufold, who one-timed a shot into the net with a behind-the-back flip of the foot, putting the Jackets up 3-0 just two minutes and 13 seconds into the second half.
Mitchell finished off the scoring as she got past Northview junior goalkeeper Ally Biggs and buried a non-contested shot into the net from just a few feet away.
Biggs finished the game with eight saves, including a diving save on a shot by Francis just before the first half ended.
Meanwhile, Perrysburg freshman goalkeeper Tori Trzcinski got the start, and as the Jackets have been doing most of the season, veteran junior keeper Elizabeth Motter minded the net in the second half as the two combined for a clean sheet.
Trzcinski had to face just three shots on goal, but Motter did not have to face any as the Yellow Jackets dominated possession in the second half before the game was called to a halt due to lightning after 70-plus minutes of play.
Perrysburg outshot Northview, 21-6, and the Yellow Jackets had 12 shots on goal to the Wildcats’ three. Perrysburg had a 12-1 shot advantage in the second half, and 7-0 in shots on goal.
Perrysburg dominated to the point they forced Biggs into booting 22 goal kicks, while Trzcinski and Motter combined for just four goal kicks.