Ottoville forward Jared Fanning pushes the ball forward as Van Wert' Chey Granger defends during the Big Green's 4-0 win over the Cougars on Monday evening. Fanning scored three goals in the game. (DHI Media/John Parent)
Ottoville forward Jared Fanning pushes the ball forward as Van Wert' Chey Granger defends during the Big Green's 4-0 win over the Cougars on Monday evening. Fanning scored three goals in the game. (DHI Media/John Parent)
By John Parent
DHI Media Sports Editor
sports@timesbulletin.com
VAN WERT - For a team that finished 1-15 a year ago, and starting a player at keeper who had never played the position, Van Wert had to be almost pleased with a 4-0 home loss to Ottoville on Monday night. If not for a couple of unlucky bounces and a couple of misplayed balls, it easily could have been a much closer final score.
Ottoville junior Jared Fanning scored three times for the Big Green and Brandt Landin headed in another to account for the scoring. Van Wert's Brandt Henry stood tall in goal, limiting the Big Green to a 2-0 halftime edge despite being under near-constant pressure. 
Fanning got the scoring started at 32:21 of the first half, getting a goal after a loose rebound came free in front of the net. An Ottoville shot careened off the crossbar and came down in front of the net where Henry sprawled out to make the save. The ball slipped free of the Cougar keeper's grasps, however, and found the foot of Fanning, who knocked it into the open net for a 1-0 margin.
Ten minutes late, it was sloppy Cougar ball-handling that gave Fanning another opportunity. A turnover at midfield led to Fanning beating Henry from 14 yards away. 

In the second half, Henry moved to a forward position and Noah Dorsch took over in net for the Cougars and the Big Green wasted little time in adding to its lead. 
On a corner kick at 34:17, Landin high-pointed the ball and directed the header into the net. 
Minutes later, Dorsch tried to come play the ball on an Ottoville breakaway, but Fanning danced around the Cougar keeper and found the open net for his third score of the game.
The Cougars finally began to generate consistent pressure late in the second half, but Ottoville's Alex Krouskop kept the Cougars off the board.
(Longer story coming in Wednesday's Times Bulletin)