Gabriel Steyer of Van Wert  dribbles the ball down field during the Cougars win on Tuesday night. (DHI Media/Chris Howell)
Gabriel Steyer of Van Wert dribbles the ball down field during the Cougars win on Tuesday night. (DHI Media/Chris Howell)
VAN WERT - The Cougars stepped between the lines on Tuesday night to battle with Miller City. Little did they know, they would have to fight mother nature just as hard as they fought the Wildcats to claim their 1-0 victory.

Although the field conditions were fair, lightning caused the game to be delayed by more than 45 minutes just as the two teams were about to return from half time.

The only goal of the game was scored in the first half with just over two minutes left on the clock.

Christian Eberle found the back of the net when Joseph Deitering, the Miller City keeper, fumbled the ball in the box after a few hard shots from the Cougars.

The goal was Eberle’s second goal on Van Wert’s home turf this season.

“We have some young players on the team this year that are hungry,” said Van Wert Head Coach Ata John Ochil following the game. “They’ve been learning from us, and we’re starting to see some progression out there.”

As you can imagine with a 1-0 finish, the theme of the night turned out to be defense.

The defensive line for Cougars dictated the outcome of the game, as they were able to eliminate many promising scoring opportunities for the Wildcats.

“We have solid defenders across the board,” Ochil said. “We’re trying to find the perfect balance with our midfield and offense, and that has been our current challenge.”

When addressing his team following the game, Ochil called the win “ugly,” but also said he likes seeing his team grind out games like this and earn their victories.

Miller City’s best chance to score came with just under seven minutes left in the game, when Cougar keeper Taylor Springer threw his body on a close range shot from the Miller City offense. After the game, Coach Ochil commended his goalie on preserving the shutout and getting the victory for the Cougars.

“Taylor has been doing this for us all season long,” he said. “When our defense only gives up one or two goals, I feel like we’re always in the game.”

Van Wert will travel to Wapakoneta on Thursday for a WBL face off with the Redskins.