Throw-ins are normally routine in soccer.
Nate Boulton elevated their importance Thursday. He launched a pair of somersault throw-ins that led directly to scores and proved decisive in Tomah’s 3-2 victory over Reedsburg in a nonconference boys soccer match at Veterans Field.
Tomah coach Scott Conzemius said Boulton’s ability to hurl long throw-ins is a handy weapon.
“Teams don’t expect it,” Conzemius said. “When you have someone who can throw the ball in from the sideline anywhere into the attacking third, it’s like having an extra goal-scoring opportunity ... it’s like having another corner kick.”
The first one came in the 15th minute. Boulton somersaulted a throw into the goalkeeper’s box, where it bounced off a Reedsburg player and toward Tomah’s Eric Erdman, who popped a 10-foot header into the upper-left corner of the net.
In the 28th minute, another spot-on throw-in by Boulton found its way to Robert Redcloud. His header shot went toward teammate Tucker Francis, who placed a point-blank header shot past Reedsburg goalkeeper Braeden Weix for a 2-0 Tomah lead.
Tomah scored its third goal in the 36th minute, when defender Isaiah Nick gathered a loose ball and unleashed a long-range rocket past Weix to put Tomah ahead 3-0.
“We came out well,” Conzemius said. “We were intense, we were on the front foot and put balls in space where we could do something with them.”
Reedsburg (1-9-1) seized the initiative after halftime and tightened up the match with goals at 56:41 and 79:25. The Beavers had chances to tie the contest, but the Timberwolves survived a dangerous Reedsburg corner kick in the 87th minute, and Tomah goalkeeper Zach Jorgensen slid to his right to make a save with 70 seconds left.
Conzemius said the Timberwolves lost their edge in the second half.
“We got up three ... and they seemed far less focused and far less intense,” Conzemius said.
Despite the less-than-stellar second half, it has been an overall good stretch of soccer for the Timberwolves, who are 3-0-2 in their last five matches.
“These last couple of weeks have been great,” Conzemius said. “We’re learning how to be competitive and how to win.”
The Timberwolves will take a 4-6-3 record into Tuesday’s home match against Sparta, which starts at 4:30 p.m. at Veterans Field.
Tomah Journal editor Steve Rundio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.