Anthony Wayne’s AJ Witte, left, and Maumee's KJ Mitchell fight to head the ball.
THE BLADE/LORI KING
It was all Anthony Wayne on a chilly night in Whitehouse as the Generals were in complete command of a boys soccer team against Maumee.
Anthony Wayne controlled the play and tilted the field against the visiting Panthers, cruising to a 5-0 shutout. The Generals finished with 15 shots on goal, but had many more chance miss the target high and wide.
Four different players scored for AW, which also scored on Maumee's own goal five minutes into the second half.
The goals all came from juniors as Zach Harris and Jake Jankowski scored in the first half, while Jacob Bores and Colin Mortemore tallied in the second half.
The relentless pressure led to 11 corner kicks for the Generals.
Anthony Wayne (8-0-2) entered the game ranked fifth in the Division I state coaches poll. The Generals recovered from a 1-1 tie last week to Perrysburg and moved to 3-0-1 in Northern Lakes League play.
Maumee (8-3-0) had been ranked as high as seventh in the D-II state poll, but the Panthers fell to 1-3-0 in the NLL. The bright spot for Maumee was freshman goalkeeper Hunter Thomasson, who finished with 10 saves and prevented a wider margin of victory.
But Anthony Wayne coach Brian Billings was in no mood to celebrate the lopsided win.
“I thought we were really poor,” Billings said. “Our finishing was poor. I'm not saying we didn't control the play. But our performance was poor. This is a game where we needed to come in and stamp our authority early. That should be a 10-nil game for us. So it's not up to our high standard.”
Maumee managed to control the first 10 minutes of action, but finished with just three shots overall.
“We held our own for awhile,” Panthers coach Doug Everhart said. “We played hard and aggressive. But when you are playing one of the best in the state, you know you are going to come in the underdogs.”
Maumee kept Anthony Wayne off the board until Harris scored with 9:48 left in the first half. Harris rolled a ground shot by Thomasson on an assist from Ben Conkin.
A little more than three minutes later AW went up 2-0 as Jankowski collected a rebound off a shot by Bores and scored into the empty net. The Generals outshot Maumee 8-1 and had five corner kicks in the first half but led only two.
A wild rush in the Maumee box led to the own goal 4:22 into the second half. The Generals pulled away late when Bores scored on an assist from A.J.Witte. Mortemore then scored with 4:30 remaining on an assist from Austin Adams.
Billings said he was happy that the points came from several different players.
“We have a very deep team,” he said. “We have a variety of guys that can make it happen.”
Maumee's Thomasson hung tough, making four good saves over the final 17 minutes.
“Hunter did a nice job in goal,” Everhart said. “It's his first year under the pipes. He's still learning some things.”
Anthony Wayne went 6-0-1 to win the NLL last year. The Generals finished the season 16-1-2, losing only in the D-I regional semifinals. Anthony Wayne defeated then seventh-ranked St. John's Jesuit 1-0 on Sept. 5, but tied Perrysburg 1-1 last week.
Billings has 11 returning letter winners back, including nine seniors. The Generals play Springfield (9-1-0) next Tuesday.
“We have a lot of work to do to get ready for some big games coming up,” Billings said. “If we want to be ranked fifth in the state, we have to play that way.”