Shawe's Henry Grote and Davis Grote (24) battle to clear the ball in the midst of several Switzerland Pacers during Monday's game in Vevay. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Shawe's Henry Grote and Davis Grote (24) battle to clear the ball in the midst of several Switzerland Pacers during Monday's game in Vevay. (Staff photo by David Campbell)
Switzerland County scored a goal in a dominating first 20 minutes, but the rest of the match belonged to Shawe, which pulled away for a 3-2 win in boys soccer Monday in Vevay.

The Pacers used their athleticism to pepper the Shawe goal resulting in the first score of the game on a Damian Breeck rebound off his own shot in the 16th minute.

But the Hilltoppers recovered from the opening onslaught and slowly took control, eventually scoring three-straight goals to seize control of the game.

“We struggled with the possession early and after that, it turned into a rough and tumble kickball game. There was really only a few possessions where we had any constructive passing,” Shawe coach Cameron Willoughby said. “We talked to them at half that sometimes your offense is your best defense because it takes the pressure off the defense. And in the second half, we were able to do that.”

Shawe (3-3, 3-2 Ohio River Valley) slowly began to take control of the contest late in the first half and was able to go into the intermission tied at 1-1 after Gage Dermon scored with two minutes to play.

Shawe went ahead 2-1 five minutes into the second half when Jack Grote scored from the left side and Grote added a second marker with just under 10 minutes to play when he put in a rebound off a corner kick attempt to put the Hilltoppers’ ahead 3-1.

“Speed can hurt us sometimes in the back and we’ve tried to tell our guys that giving too much space can sometimes be a deficit and in the first half, that hurt us a bit,” Willoughby said. “We talked them about our backs playing a closer coverage and that keeps the person from being comfortable setting the ball or turning and getting a run on you. I don’t want them to foul people, but at the same time, I want them to let them know that they’re there.”

Despite the lead, Switzerland never backed down and came close enough to a comeback to make the Hilltoppers sweat.

The Pacers broke lose after a Shawe corner kick chance and raced down the field, scoring on Breeck’s second goal of the game with just over a minute to play to close the gap to one. The final 60 seconds were contested at a frantic pace with Switzerland getting off two good shots before the horn finally sounded.

Switzerland County (1-6, 0-6 ORVC) ended up holding an 18-12 advantage in shots, but most of those attempts for the Pacers came in the first 20 minutes. Switzerland also had 10 shots on goal to nine for the Hilltoppers.

For Switzerland coach Brian Grigsby, the game followed a familiar formula and one that he is trying to correct.

“The boys have been doing a really good job but we’ve had a hard time putting two halves together,” Grigsby said. “We were tied 1-1 at the half and then they kind of lost it there. But then they got it back at the end of the game, just a little too late. Give that game another five minutes and we probably could have tied it up and 10 minutes, we could have done something. But it’s an 80-minute game and you’ve got to play the full 80 minutes.”

In addition to holding a lead in shots, Switzerland County also had five corner kicks to just three for the Hilltoppers. The Pacers were also whistled only four times to nine by Shawe.

Shawe goalie Hunter Kennett stopped seven shots to pick up the win while Dallas Snider had six saves for the Pacers.

Switzerland returns to action on Wednesday when the Pacers head to ORVC leader Jac-Cen-Del. On Monday, Switzerland hosts Milan.

Shawe hosts Milan on Thursday and heads to Southwestern on Monday.