VAN WERT -- The senior-laden Ottawa-Glandorf boys soccer team came to Van Wert Tuesday and unloaded a ferocious offensive attack on the Cougars in a 5-1 win. The Titans are now 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the Western Buckeye League. Van Wert is 1-6 and 0-3.

"They (the Titans) are a good team," said Cougar coach Matt Hernandez. "They're a physical team; that's part of their game, and we tried to adjust to it today. End of the day, my guys came out and fought hard against a team that only has one loss for a reason. For us, being more of a finesse team, to step up and try to hang with them, I'm very proud of our guys."

In the early minutes of the game the Cougars had the ball deep in their offensive end a couple of times, but couldn't get off a shot. From there, O-G totally took charge of the first half. The ball only got close to Van Wert's goal once, and that was on a 35-yard angle shot that sophomore goalkeeper Ethan Alt easily deflected away.



Meanwhile, the Titans were making life interesting for Van Wert's junior goalkeeper, Ryan Hollingsworth, who had 12 saves in the first 40 minutes alone. O-G's first half onslaught included 26 shots, of which 15 were on goal.

With 35:42 on the clock, senior Bryce Schroeder eluded his defender to face Hollingsworth one-on-one and grounded a 10-yarder into the left corner of the goal to make it 1-0, Titans. With 21:12 left in the half, junior Braden Fortman lofted a cross from the right side, and junior Drew Kuhlman headed it into the upper right side of the net for a 2-0 lead. O-G added goals at 17:32 (15-yard sharp angle from the left side by junior Connor Niese) and 0:45 (point blank shot by junior Ethan White off of an assist by senior Ben Schaub). Thus, the Titans led 4-0 at the half.

The second half was more competitive, and, in fact, the Cougars drew first blood on a spectacular goal by Eli Rager. With 18:50 showing on the clock, the senior captain curled a hard 25-yard angle shot from the left side into the upper left side of the net to pull Van Wert within 4-1. However, O-G trumped that at 16:11 when Schroeder looped a straightaway 15-yarder over the out-stretched hands of Hollingsworth and barely under the crossbar.

The visitors had 11 second-half shots, seven on goal. Hollingsworth added four more saves, and freshman sub goalie Taylor Springer had three, one spectacular, during his 12-minute stint. The Cougs got off two shots with Rager's score being the only one on goal.

"We're a transitional team, and Eli is one of our fastest guys," said Hernandez. "We try to utilize him in a few different positions, so when we put him up top, sometimes he can use that speed -- and it was a great shot!"

Scoring summary:

4:18 -- Bryce Schroeder (O-G).
18:38 -- Drew Kuhlman (O-G), assist by Braden Fortman.
22:28 -- Connor Niese (O-G).
39:15 -- Ethan White (O-G), assist by Ben Schaub.
61:10 -- Eli Rager (VW)
63:49 -- Schroeder (O-G).

Stats:

Shots: VW 3, O-G 37.
Shots on goal: VW 2, O-G 22.
Corner kicks: VW 0, O-G 6.
Saves: Ryan Hollingsworth (VW) 16, Taylor Springer (VW) 3, Ethan Alt (O-G) 1.