As hosts of the Class 2A Waterloo Regional, the Bulldogs looked to have a home field advantage against Salem in Tuesday’s semifinal.
Considering Salem had never played on a turf field before, Waterloo had an even bigger advantage.
The Bulldogs controlled from start to finish, rolling to a dominating 6-0 victory over the Wildcats. Kane Osterhage was the star of the night, tallying four goals in the win.
WHS got on the board early and often, as Osterhage scored just nine minutes into the game. The junior midfielder dribbled into the Salem box unchallenged and fired a bullet into the left corner to give his team a 1-0 lead. It was the start of a special night for Osterhage, who scored again barely three minutes later, taking a perfect pass from teammate Jared Goessling and blasting it into the back of the net. Minutes later, Osterhage struck again, burying another point blank shot. Not even 20 minutes into the game, the junior had a hat trick, and Waterloo had a comfortable 3-0 lead.
But still Osterhage was not done. After a long range goal from Goessling made it 4-0, Osterhage tallied his fourth of the night, launching a missile from the top of the box to push the advantage to 5-0. The Bulldogs would head into the break with a 6-0 lead after a Clay Metz corner kick goal.
Waterloo was able to rest its starters for most of the second half, but still the Bulldogs dominated possession. Though Salem finally managed to get some shots on goal, WHS keeper Charlie McGhee was there to make the saves. McGhee and fellow senior Tyler Chitty, who played the first half, combined for their eleventh shared shutout of the year.
Bulldogs head coach Chad Holden was pleased with the way his team jumped out to a quick lead. “We came out on all cylinders tonight,” he said. “We played really well. We moved the ball where we needed to get it.”
Holden was also glad to give some of his players a rest.
“It worked out well. The guys got plenty of action so they won’t be rusty, but they got some off, too.”
Waterloo will play Mater Dei in Friday’s regional final.