A simple change paid dividends for the Western Hills boys soccer team Thursday night as the Wolverines knocked off Male 1-0 on Sower Soccer Field 2.
"We changed our shape and system tonight," WHHS coach Gary Rue said. "I'm still evaluating it, but we were able to use our width more effectively than any other time this year."
The Wolverines normally play a 3-5-2 set but opted for a 4-3-3 lineup against the Bulldogs. "Basically, it cut out our wings but it gave us more offense," said senior Allen Sweeney.
Western Hills did have several early scoring opportunities but couldn't convert until early in the second half.
With 33:48 left in the match, Dan Vossmer threw in the ball to Tyler Toncray, who headed it toward the Male goal. Keeper Jordan Terry deflected the ball but right back to Toncray, who easily chipped it in for the game's only score.
"We've been a central-attacking team for so long," Rue said, "but we've got to make some changes with this group if we're going to compete with the better schools. We tried to be more effective out wide and that did have an effect on us.
"Male started playing harder after we went up one," Rue added, "and we didn't raise our intensity level to match theirs. But we got a win and I'm happy about that."
The Wolverines did have to withstand Male's offensive push in the final minutes of the game. The Bulldogs had several good scoring opportunities but couldn't capitalize.
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