The Marietta High soccer teams appear to be in good shape going in to the 2013 season, as the boys and girls were each victorious in scrimmages over Barberton Monday at Marietta College.
Brent Huck scored three goals, including two in a span of three minutes to open the second half to pace the Tigers to a 5-1 victory over the Magics, while the Lady Tigers won by a score of 4-3.
For the second consecutive summer, Barberton is in town for a teen camp at Marietta College and the Tigers have provided a viable sparring partner for the Magics before they head back north.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Marietta’s Katie Miller handles the ball during a scrimmage Monday against Barberton. Miller scored two goals in a 4-3 Marietta win.
It is also provides an opportunity for MHS head coach Todd Morris to get an sneak peek at his squad with the opening of the 2013 soccer season just six weeks away.
"I didn't know what to expect tonight as this is the first time we have had 11 men on the field at one time this year," said Morris, the 2012 East Central Ohio League coach of the year. "For the first day of July with no coaching, I'm very pleased with the way they played."
Barberton has won some 46 games over the past four seasons but it would be the two-time defending ECOL champion Tigers who applied the pressure early and often Monday evening.
Huck scored the first of his three goals with a little more than six minutes off of the clock to give MHS a 1-0 lead.
Huck will be going into his senior year this fall after garnering second team All-Ohio honors in 2012.
"We should have a really good senior class this fall led by Brent (Huck), said Morris, whose team posted an 11-4-3 record last year. "He's going to be an integral part of what we do. He works hard and he's talented and you put those two things together, that's a pretty good combination."
Huck played only about half of the game for the Tigers and while he was on the bench in the opening half, Grant Gandor provided the offense for the orange and black as his goal with 16:20 to play made it 2-0.
It would take Huck just three minutes into the second half to connect on his second goal to make it 3-0 and after Barberton scored its lone goal a minute later, Huck answered in the 45th minute to make it 4-1.
Marietta's Jared Feathers capped the scoring with a goal with 15 minutes to play.
MHS 2012 All-District keeper Eric Pierce had a rather uneventful night between the pipes as he allowed just the one goal while coming up with one keeper save in the game.
Despite being happy with his squad's first test of the season, Morris sees plenty of areas that the Tigers will need to improve upon if they plan to repeat as conference champions for a third consecutive season.
"Some of our "off the ball" movement and some of our passes weren't as crisp as I would like," said Morris. "We had a few issues with finishing but these are all things that we can work on and be ready when these games are for real."
The Lady Tigers got an offseason confidence-boost as they came away on the winning side of a tightly-contested scrimmage versus the Lady Magics.
Katie Miller, who will be a senior in the fall, put in two goals and assisted on another to lead the orange and black. Miller was second on the team in goals last year to Molly Josefson, who graduated. Miller figures to be one of the top offensive threats for MHS again this fall.
The Jeff Price-coached squad jumped on top with Miller's goal in the 14th minute of the first half. After getting ahead 2-0, Barberton tied things up with a goal right before halftime and then another shortly after.
Miller scored her second unassisted goal of the afternoon with 14:22 left in the match to put Marietta back on top. From there, the two squads traded a goal apiece to give the Tigers a 4-3 win.
Nora Gulick notched three saves for the Lady Tigers. Marietta attempted nine shots to Barberton's 10.