HUBER HEIGHTS — A second-half surge Tuesday sparked Wayne to a 4-1 Division I sectional soccer victory over Tecumseh at home.
Senior midfielder Brady Paxton paced the Warriors with two goals. He scored his first goal two minutes into the game on an assist by Josh Miller.
Tecumseh tied the game on a goal by Kenyon Runner at 13:05.
Scoring opportunities, however, were scarce for the Warriors for the remainder of the opening half as the squad could only manage five shots on goal, mostly wide of the net.
But Wayne picked up the offensive pace in the second half, tallying three straight goals in a 12-minute span. After taking three shots on goal in the first 10 minutes, Paxton scored again for a 2-1 lead when he booted a short shot into the net at 29:36 on an assist by Quincy Cross.
Senior defender Daniel Brown recovered a loose ball near the 20-yard line and drilled a score at 26:18 for a 3-1 advantage.
Senior midfielder Austin Marler added the punctuation mark on the 4-1 sectional win with a score at 10:21. Cross picked up his second assist of the game.
Warrior coach Dennis Snider gave his team credit for playing with energy and confidence in the final half. The attacking offense and the solid defense helped the Warriors with ball possession and more shots on goal.
“We panicked some in the first half and then picked it up, moved the ball in the second half and were able to finish our shots,” said Snider, the 23-year coach of Wayne.
Paxton, who also scored two goals in a 4-2 loss last week to Troy, has been an offensive catalyst for much of the season for the Warriors, who improved to 8-7-2 for the year.
“Putting the shots on goal was the key,” said Paxton.
The Warriors are slated for a second-round sectional game Saturday at 7 p.m. against the winner of the Bellefontaine vs, Sidney game that was also played Tuesday. If the Chieftains win, Wayne would be host team.
Reach Gary Gregory by contacting Greg Smart at 937-684-8088 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.