WILLIAMSTOWN - In a physical battle here Thursday at Huggins Field, the Class A No. 4 Williamstown soccer team had to rally for a 2-2 tie on senior day against visiting St. Marys.
Prior to the contest, the St. Marys players were discussing how any day was a good day to beat Williamstown and head coach Amanda Pagano's squad nearly did just that, if not for allowing a late goal in the 76th minute to the Yellowjackets (11-1-2).
Earlier this year, St. Marys suffered a 5-1 setback to the 'Jackets. However, the Blue Devils (5-6-2) managed to put the first goal on the scoreboard in the 24th minute Thursday when Colton Nutt took a feed from Tony Drazba, whirled around and fired a shot past WHS keeper Garret Butler that went inside the right post.
JAY W. BENNETT Special to The Times
Williamstown’s Jarric Hoskins (7) gets ready to deliver a boot as St. Marys’ Dakota Studer (14) rushes over to defend during prep soccer action Thursday. The two schools battled to a 2-2 draw.
But Williamstown, which returns to action at 10 a.m. Saturday versus Parkersburg Catholic at West Virginia University at Parkersburg, wasted little time in squaring the match. Although the 'Jackets had a plethora of scoring chances against Blue Devil keeper Corey Wilson in the early going, they didn't find the back of the net until the 30th minute. That's when Josh Walters, via an assist from Joseph Buckley, launched a shot from the far side of the field toward the opposite post and scored.
In the 51st minute of action, Drazba sent a through ball down the middle of the Williamstown defense. Nutt turned on the afterburners and raced past two Yellowjacket defenders and scorched a low rocket inside the right post to give the visitors what they hoped would be the winning goal.
During the next 25-plus minutes, the St. Marys defense tried to keep the 'Jackets off the board and did so. Wilson made a solid save to keep his team ahead 2-1 when Jarric Hoskins made a cross and Alex Gedon was denied a goal.
St. Marys boys 2, Williamstown 2
St. Marys (5-6-2) 1 1 - 2
Williamstown (11-1-2) 1 1 - 2
SM: Colton Nutt (assist Tony Drazba) 24th minute
WT: Josh Walters (assist Joseph Buckley) 30th minute
SM: Nutt (assist Drazba) 51st minute
WT: Walters (assist Garret Butler) 76th minute
Shots on goal: SM 3, WT 15; Corner kicks: SM 1, WT 6; Keeper saves: SM 13 (Corey Wilson), WT 1 (Butler 1, Ryan Martin 0)
Next matches: St. Marys at Ravenswood 6 p.m. Tuesday; Williamstown at Parkersburg Catholic (WVU-P) 10 a.m. Saturday to resume earlier match with WHS leading 1-0 going into the 2nd minute of action.
With 11:40 left in the contest, Butler was pulled from the goal in favor of Ryan Martin and was inserted into the WHS attack for the final 10 minutes. During the 76th minute, Butler chased down a ball deep in the Blue Devils' end and sent a perfect cross to the middle of the box that Walters headed in just below the crossbar.
St. Marys, which returns to action on Tuesday at Ravenswood before having senior day next Thursday versus Belpre, was under heavy attack in the waning minutes, but the 'Jackets couldn't tack on another goal.
Aside from Walters, Butler, Hoskins, Gedon and Martin, head coach Mike Albertson's Yellowjackets also had fellow seniors Evan Fowler, Tori Poole, Mitchell Goertler, Megan Steele and Brandon Semon play in their final home match.