Another close encounter of the soccer kind is expected when the Marietta High boys play at Warren at 7 p.m. tonight.
Over at the Devola Soccer Complex at 5 p.m. on the same evening, the MHS girls are slated to host the Lady Warriors in Round 2.
In the first meeting between the two Washington County big schools on Sept. 6, the Tiger boys claimed a 1-0 decision.
Times file photo
Warren’s Evan Yabs (9) battles a Zanesville player for the ball in a match last season.
"We were able to just get by them 1-0 at Don Drumm (Stadium) on a great goal from Brent Huck," said MHS boys head soccer coach Todd Morris, whose Tigers own a 7-1-1 overall record. "We are expecting the same type of match when we are in Vincent.
"Anyone who thinks that these MHS/Warren games do not mean as much anymore with the schools being in different conferences now are mistaken. Marietta/Warren games are always intense, physical, emotional soccer matches that are played in front of great crowds, which creates an amazing atmosphere for high school soccer."
Huck's late, first-half goal stood up as both Marietta and Andrew Johnson-coached Warren battled to a 0-0 standstill after the break. Tiger keeper Eric Pierce was credited with seven saves in the match while his Warrior counterpart Cody Stanley had five.
"Our defensive unit was solid as it has been all year long," Morris said. Along with Pierce, the MHS defenders are Andrew Roberts, Holden Weihl, Tanner Rake, and Owen LaBarre.
On the season, Pierce has four clean sheets to his credit, and allowed just eight goals in nine matches. He's averaging about eight saves per game.
Marietta's other probable starters will be Grant Gandor, Jacob Holdren, Skylar Miracle, Ryan Teer, Brennan Uhrig, and Huck, who leads the team with six goals and one assist. Uhrig has five goals and one assist, and Holdren has a team-high four assists.
Colin Jordan, a starting outside midfielder, suffered a concussion in the first Marietta/Warren match, but may be cleared to play Thursday, Morris said.
Warren is expected to counter with Greyson Cantley, Sam Goodman, Ben Koch, Wyatt Lynch, Aaron Mazurkiewicz, Nathan Robinson, Nick Robinson, Nick Koch, Ty Kroner, Evan Yabs and Stanley.
"Bragging rights are at stake," Morris said. "These kids know each other, they play with each other in the offseason.
"These games are so much fun and really do mean something. We expect nothing less from the game Thursday night. We have to match the intensity level that they are going to come out with being on their home field and play at the level that we want to play at. If we play simple we can be successful. I think we are a much better team than we were when we met them three weeks ago, and I am sure that Warren feels that they are as well. We have a tremendous respect for Warren and Andrew (Johnson) has done a great job with that program. After all, they still have what we want to get back, that District crown."
On the girls' side, Warren's Melissa Dickerson notched a hat trick in the Lady Warriors' 4-1 win over visiting Marietta on Sept. 6. The royal blue and white is coming off a hard-fought 0-0 tie at Reynoldsburg this past Saturday.
"We played very well," said Warren girls' head coach Ekrem Eksi, whose Lady Warriors own an 8-1-1 record. "We should have won the game, but Reynoldsburg's a good team."
Warren is expected to start Lara Eksi, Halee McPherson, Emma Yabs, Raelyn Gardner, Natalie O'Dell, Addie Barnes, Jordanna Rauch, Raeli Barnes, Mackenzie Ullman, Janelle Barth (keeper) and Dickerson.
Raeli Barnes, Gardner, Ullman, and Dickerson are all scoring threats, and will probably keep Marietta's defense busy.
The Jeff Price-coached Lady Tigers (4-5) are expected to counter with starters' Molly Josefson, Alyssa Hill, Anna Carpenter, Ashley Streski, Amelia Gulick, Katie Miller, Beka Haught, Gabi Latture, Mo Robinson, Lucinda Ryder, Sammy Koons, and keeper Nora Gulick.
Josefson had a six-goal game earlier in the season, and Miller and Carpenter are very capable of putting the ball into the back of the net.