Riders' Win Sets Up Showdown With Shawnee

St. Marys' Peyton Wilson battles for the ball in a Western Buckeye League girls soccer match on Tuesday.
Sports Editor

Thursday’s game is huge.

St. Marys took care of business on Tuesday, despite a slow start, with a 2-0 Western Buckeye League victory against Defiance.

The win, coupled with a Shawnee 1-1 tie against Bath, sets up a showdown with the No. 4 Indians on Thursday at Roughrider Field in a game that may determine who wins the league.

“Thursday is going to be huge,” Roughriders coach Nick Wilson said.

But Tuesday, the Riders (7-4-1, 5-1-1 WBL) had to take care of business, and they did.

Kendall Dieringer broke the scoreless tie in the 25:09 mark of the second half with a shot that was initially stopped by Defiance keeper Raelle Gonzales, but sneaked by the junior for a 1-0 Riders’ lead.

At the 12:33 mark, Lilly Ankerman scored her eighth goal on the season for a 2-0 lead.

From there, the Roughriders defense allowed just one shot on goal in the second half to secure the victory for their third shutout.

Still, St. Marys used its deep bench to wear down the Bulldogs in the second half, opening up more space on the offensive end with the Roughriders tallying three shots on goal to open the first three minutes of the second half. St. Marys recorded seven shots on goal in the second half.

The Roughriders outshot Defiance (3-9, 0-8), 14-4 and Emma White finished with two saves. Gonzales amassed 13 saves. The Riders junior varsity team also won  2-0.

Now comes Shawnee.

Originally scheduled Sept. 10 but cancelled because of rain, the Roughriders have not beaten Shawnee since 2014. A St. Marys win ties the WBL record of each team with one league game to go.

Thursday can’t get here soon enough.