By TED RADICK
For the first 15 minutes of Thursday’s Division I district quarterfinal game at Elmer Graham Stadium, Findlay High School’s boys soccer team was doing everything right against Sylvania Southview.
Everything except finding the back of the goal.
Once the goals came, though, they came quickly and the Trojans routed Southview 5-0.
Findlay (10-4-3), seeded fourth in the district and now riding an 11-game unbeaten streak, advances to play fifth-seeded Toledo St. Francis (10-6-1), a 10-0 winner over Bowling Green in another district quarterfinal on Thursday, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Southview.
Southview, seeded 10th in the district, ended its season at 5-11-1.
“We definitely dominated possession in the early part of the game, but we didn’t get any great chances out of it,” Findlay coach Kevin Shenise said. “That was my concern, that we had to start generating some really good opportunities.
“After we got past that 15-minute mark, those opportunities started to come. It was good for us to see that, we were possessing the ball but that doesn’t always lead to scoring chances.”
Jacob Gangle took a free kick at goal that, after an initial save by Southview keeper J.T. Metzinger, landed on the foot of Findlay’s Mitchell Meyer. Meyer punched in the rebound at the 16:11 mark of the first half to give the Trojans a 1-0 lead.
“I was a little nervous coming into the game,” said Gangle, a junior midfielder. “But, you know, you play it just like any other game. It doesn’t matter if it’s the tournament or the regular season, you play it like any other game and have fun.
“I’m playing for the seniors now. It’s their last time playing here, so I’m just here for them.”
Gangle said the start of the game was a bit frustrating, as both teams took a couple of long shots but never seriously threatened to score, but added that the Trojans were determined to play within themselves.
“We trust each other, and we knew if we keep pushing and pushing that we’d eventually get one,” Gangle said. “It’s a team effort.”
Gangle fed Ryan Montooth at the top of the penalty box less than a 90 seconds after Findlay’s first goal. Montooth ripped it home for a 2-0 lead.
“They’ve been a team all year that has given up goals in pairs,” Shenise said. “When they give up goals, they tend to give them up in flurries. We’d seen that in the stats we had on them, and that was the way it went when we played them earlier this season (a 3-1 Findlay victory on Sept. 27).
“We were up 1-0, they scored on a penalty kick and we answered right away 30 seconds later. So, we kind of had it in the back of our mind that we could score quickly like that.”
Gangle got his third assist of the first half with a through ball picked up by Andrew Allsop, who went one-on-one with Metzinger and beat him with 6:34 left in the first half.
Southview picked up its offensive pace early in the second half. The Cougars got a couple of good scoring opportunities with a pair of chances 12 minutes into the second half that were turned away by Findlay’s defense.
“We knew we’d get a push at the beginning of the second half,” Shenise said. “You know, there’s no tomorrow. You lose, and you’re done. So, at this stage of the season in tournament play, teams are willing to push guys forward and change lineups to try and get goals.
“Certainly, if in the first 10 or 15 minutes of the second half if they had gotten something, it’s a game-changer. They’d have cut it to 3-1 and maybe we’re on our heels a little bit. We had to weather the storm a little bit and handle that first 10 or 15 minutes of the second half.”
Gangle got a goal of his own with 21:37 left in the game as Montooth ran down the left wing and sent a perfect centering pass. Gangle slotted it to the upper right corner for a 4-0 lead.
“All hats off to Jake,” Shenise said. “Jake was huge for us tonight with the assists and the goal. That really sparked our offense, he really became that dominant player in the midfield for us that got the other guys involved. That was probably the big difference in the first half, that Jake started to come alive for us.
“He got to point where he got comfortable out there and saw some opportunities. He’s a creative kid and, when he sees something out there, he’s going to go after it.”
Meyer added an unassisted goal with 17:15 left to close the scoring. Findlay outshot Southview 19-8, and Trojan keeper Kevin Kuhn had three saves in recording the clean sheet.
Brady Shenise and Andew McCormick each had 12 intercepts to lead Findlay’s defense, with Logan Johnson getting a team-best three steals.
goals: (Fin) Mithcell Meyer 2, Ryan Montooth, Andrew Allsop, Jacob Gangle. Assists: (Fin) Gangle 3, Montooth. shots-on-goal: Sylvania Southview 8, Findlay 18. saves: (South) J.T. Metzinger 5. (Fin) Kevin Kuhn 3.
records: Sylvania Southview 5-11-1, Findlay 10-4-3.