Perryville learned that patience is a virtue.
The Pirates scored all four goals in the final 10 minutes of both halves to down Saxony 4-0 last Thursday, to keep their season on the uptick having won their last four contests and six of their last seven.
“We knew that Saxony would press hard,” Perryville coach Jerry Fulton said. “We were going to try and be patient, move the ball around and wait for things to open up. That’s why all the goals came late in both halves because as Saxony got tired, the space was there.”
Dayton Strattman recorded two goals and one assist in the victory for Perryville (11-2), as Austin Welk contributed a goal and assist of his own. Dillon Schlimpert added another tally. Carson Adams and Jake Unterreiner added assists as Perryville outshot Saxony 16-3 in the game.
“Those last two goals that came at the end of the second half came when we had our heads down” Saxony coach Chris Crawford said. “I don’t feel as if Perryville was four goals better than us today as the score indicated.”
The game was deadlocked in the first half until the 34 minute mark when Schlimpert fired a low shot from several yards outside of the 18 yard box that snuck by the Saxony goalkeeper and just minutes later Strattman outraced a defender down the left sideline and cleverly squeezed a shot to the far post to give Perryville the 2-0 lead at halftime.
“We talk all the time about the first five minutes of each half and the last five minutes are where the most goals are scored,” Crawford said. “We talk those critical times and we let Perryville score twice at the end of each half which was a real back breaker for us.”
However, Saxony had their chances to climb back into the game.
Midway through the second half , Saxony had a header go wide inside the box and minutes later a scrum in front of the Perryville goal, had a Saxony shot sent wide left. Saxony senior Ty Miller had one of his shots deflect off a Pirate defender and skirt by the net.
Saxony didn’t capitalize on those opportunities, however Perryville did theirs.
Welk scored in the 76th minute and assisted on another as his shot was saved, but Strattman was there for the easy tap in to give Perryville the comfortable winning margin.
“Late in the game, we have a ball bouncing around in their box and we can’t finish, then what seemed like seconds later Perryville scored,” Crawford said. “That kind of deflated us.”
Despite the loss, the Crusaders (5-6) are much improved record-wise and nearly have as many wins as they did all of last season (7). Crawford credits that to a renewed attitude this season.
But for now Perryville gets the last laugh.