Van Wert’s Jacob Hart (28) looks to make a run on goal for the Cougars in the second half as Ottawa-Glandorf’s Colin Welch tries to chase him down. (DHI Media/Charlie Warnimont)
Van Wert’s Jacob Hart (28) looks to make a run on goal for the Cougars in the second half as Ottawa-Glandorf’s Colin Welch tries to chase him down. (DHI Media/Charlie Warnimont)
GLANDORF — Van Wert’s boys soccer team knew they had a tough assignment Tuesday afternoon in facing a good Ottawa-Glandorf team.

What didn’t help the Cougars against a veteran program was getting off to a slow start. Despite getting the first shot of the contest, Van Wert was on the defensive most of the first half as O-G built a quick lead and controlled play in a 6-0 loss to the Titans at the O-G Athletic Complex.

Van Wert had the first shot on goal as Asnake Steyer had an opportunity from the right side of the box that settled into the hands of Titan keeper Ethan Alt. After that shot the Titans defense shut down the Cougars offense and O-G picked up the intensity scoring three times in a 10 minute stretch of the half.

“We came out a little flat in the beginning and they were ready to go,” Van Wert head coach Matt Hernandez said. “They were obviously the aggressor and I need to do a better job of getting our team ready. You have to be ready to go when you step on that field. I need to teach my team that killer instinct mentality once that whistle blows.”

After surrendering that early shot to Van Wert, the Titans picked up their intensity on the offensive end led by senior Nolan Unterbrink, who scored three times in the opening half. Unterbrink gave the Titans a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes of the contest converting a pair of close range shots.

“We had a game plan to be aggressive right from the start,” O-G head coach Kyle Metzger said. “The guys did a good job doing that right from the start. We won the 50-50 balls right away and kept pressure on them and that led to a couple of quick goals. We may have been a little lax at the start, but once they got settled, then we got going.”

Senior Ethan Alt made it a 3-0 contest with a goal a short time later. Unterbrink picked up his third goal of the match near the 14 minute mark and Drew Kuhlman finished the first half scoring with a goal 38 seconds before halftime.

“Our seniors and our captains did a great job of controlling that ball right away and put us in the lead. Once we got the lead we went from there,” Metzger said. “Nolan scored three goals in the first half and Ethan White had a goal and a couple of assists early on.”

The second half was a struggle offensive for both teams with just one goal being scored. Junior Ethan Schroeder scored the goal to give the Titans a 6-0 advantage. Several of the Titans top players saw limited action in the second half with a comfortable lead as the Titan coaches emptied the bench.

“After they (O-G) had their little barrage of goals in that 10 minute span, I put a lot of guys in that were energy guys and we seemed to clamp down a little bit. Then we went back to our original starting lineup,” Hernandez said. “I told them at halftime, you guys just weren’t ready. You played better the last 15 minutes of that half and the last 20 minutes of this half I want you to turn it up even more. If we had played the first half like we did the second half I would be a little more happier.”

The Titans outshot the Cougars 25-3 for the match as Alt had one save in goal and Van Wert goalie Ryan Hillingsworth had 13 saves. Alt also was credited with one assist for O-G in the win. Noah Utrup, Cory Warnecke and Josh Rosengarten also had assists in the win.