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Norwalk's Paul Lamb wins 100th career game

Sarah Baker • Aug 23, 2014 at 10:53 PM

After a back-and-forth first half turned into a Norwalk-dominated second half, it was only a matter of time until the Truckers found the back of the net.

With just 2:35 left, Norwalk put away the goal that would prove to be only one it needed in a 1-0 win over Edison Saturday at the Norwalk Soccer Complex.

With the win, Norwalk coach Paul Lamb recorded his 100th career win.

"I was excited about that," Lamb said. "I've been waiting and I'm glad it came here on our home field. It was a good win for us."

Senior Caden Foos got credit for the goal, which bounced off an Edison defender into the net.

Foos dribbled the ball into Edison's box and took it out wide left. The Chargers' keeper Josh Hohler came out and committed to Foos, who sent it across the face of the untended goal, where it bounced off a defender into the net. 

Despite the loss, Chargers coach Kurri Lewis was still positive.

"Today was by far our best game we've had all summer and preseason," Lewis said. "We fought very hard against a very, very good Norwalk team. Could have went either way, just like it exactly did. We got an unlucky own goal there at the end. But we had our chances — a couple off the post — some good quality shots. Overall, just a very, very excellent game, to watch and also to coach. It could have went either way, and it did."

The first half saw chances on both sides. 

The Truckers were called for offsides twice in the first eight minutes looking for through balls, and an Edison cross floated into Norwalk keeper Brandon Bleile's hands.

With 24 minutes left in the half, Hohler came up big for the Chargers — for the first, but not the last time in the match — with a save and a followup save. Hohler stopped Foos' original shot, then when Jason Penza came up with the deflection at the top of the box, kept that strike out as well.

"He's worked hard these last two year," Lewis said of Hohler. "Before that, he didn't see any varsity time and now, today, he came out big, made some very, very good quality saves and took charge today in the back. That was the biggest thing. He took charge in the back, kept the back four in shape — and it showed."

Edison's best chance of the match came with 15 minutes left in the first half, when Tyler Damante's shot bounced off Norwalk's left goal post.

After the Chargers had an early chance in the third minute of the second half, as Lucas Wallace got through Norwalk's defense, but wasn't able to make anything of it, the Truckers dominated the remainder of the game.

With 35 to play, Foos played a ball inside the center of Edison's final third to Devon Miller who played it out wide to Keyan Leroux. However, Leroux's cross sailed right to Hohler's hands. 

Foos, Miller and Othon Ramirez all continued to test Hohler with 1-vs-1s and shots throughout the next 20 minutes, but to no avail.

Edison's second and final opportunity of the second half came with 16 minutes left, as a cross sailed into Bleile's hands.

The Chargers are 0-3, including losses to Rossford and Oak Harbor. They face the Rockets again on Tuesday on the road.

"We've had two games so far this year (before Saturday) and we've come out a little flat in both those games," Lewis said. "So to come away, especially with a 1-0 result here, where it could've went either way, we're going to take it as a good result and basically a win in confidence for us. That's the biggest thing, especially playing those three teams in less than a week."

Edison had six shots on goal, while Norwalk had 14.

"Our guys played well. It was just a hot day — very muggy — I was after them just to get up their energy and they really struggled to do that," Lamb said. "We did a lot of subbing to try to help that. The man of the match, in my mind, was Caden Foos. He played very, very well. He had to come back quite a bit to play, so he really played 70 percent of the field — much more than normal.

"The other one, I think my defense was outstanding," he added. "Avery (Albright) was excellent, but I was really pleased with Garret (Bader). He did a great job for me — when he'd get knocked down or when he'd fall, he was immediately back up. I was just really pleased with what I saw from Garret on that defensive side. Edison overloaded his side — they just kept coming down on Garret's side and we pretty much controlled that and handled it. So I was really pleased with that. I would say those two guys are the man of the match."

Norwalk (1-1) returns to action Saturday against Tiffin Columbian to start Northern Ohio League action.

"Really looking forward to getting into the NOL and dominating it," Lamb said. "We were hoping that we can win it this year. The guys are so psyched up for that."

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