VINCENT - Warren senior Alex Miller scored a goal, assisted by Nathan Robinson, 2 minutes and 35 seconds into Thursday's match against Alexander to put the Warriors up 1-0.
That was all Warren High needed for the victory, but it got a whole lot more as the Andrew Johnson-coached squad blanked the Spartans 7-0 to improve to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League.
"We've been really working on having good, strong starts," Johnson said.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Warren’s Alex Miller (1) dribbles the ball as Alexander’s Austin Crabtree (10) defends during SEOAL boys’ soccer action in Vincent Thursday night. Miller scored four goals to lead the Warriors to a 7-0 win.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Warren’s Carter Magers (5) pursues Alexander’s Nathan Gauss (3) during SEOAL boys’ soccer action in Vincent Thursday night. The Warriors won 7-0.
That work paid off Thursday, as Miller struck for three goals in the first 16 minutes of the contest to put Warren up 3-0 early.
The royal blue and white connected on four more scores in the second half, with a goal apiece from Robinson, Miller, Aaron Mazurkiewicz and Carter Magers.
Miller, who also scored four goals Saturday against Gallia Academy, has eight in his past two games and 15 overall this season.
WARREN 7, ALEXANDER 0
At Warren High School
Alexander 0 0 - 0
Warren (6-1, 2-1) 3 4 - 7
W - Alex Miller goal, Nathan Robinson assist, 3rd minute
W - Miller goal, Wyatt Lynch assist, 6th minute
W - Miller goal, unassisted, 16th minute
W - Robinson goal, unassisted, 62nd minute
W - Aaron Mazurkiewicz goal, Lynch assist, 65th minute
W - Carter Magers goal, Mazurkiewicz assist, 71st minute
W - Miller goal, Michael O'Callaghan assist, 76th minute
Shots on goal: A - 2, W - 42
Keeper saves: A - 14 (Eric Russell), W - 2 (Tyler Schwendeman)
Corner kicks: A - 1, W - 17
Next match: Logan at Warren at 7 p.m. Tuesday
"We were doing a good job of opening up the field," Miller said. "My boy Nate Rob(inson) was hooking me up good, giving me some good balls. We just split the defense well and found all the holes.
"We just did an all-around good job. I think one of our best performances of the season so far."
Miller scored his second goal of the game with 10 seconds left in the 34th minute. Wyatt Lynch dribbled the ball towards the right corner and booted it back to the middle of the field. Miller was right there to put it into the back of the net and make it a 2-0 Warren lead.
About 10 minutes later, Miller did it himself, getting past the defense and putting one in with his left foot to pick up a hat trick in just the first half.
It was as dominating a half of soccer as you'll ever see, as Warren attempted 22 shots on goal in the half. The Warriors' defense was stingy, allowing just a pair of shot attempts for Alexander in the half, both of which were saved by keeper Tyler Schwendeman.
It was more of the same in the second half. In a 14-minute span in the second half, Robinson scored an unassisted goal, Lynch assisted Mazurkiewicz on a goal, Mazurkiewicz assisted Magers on a goal and Michael O'Callaghan set Miller up for his fourth goal of the contest.
Miller was inches away from having five goals in the match. In the 51st minute, a corner kick from O'Callaghan sailed to Miller's right. Miller jumped with his back to the goal and attempted a bicycle kick, but the shot glanced off the top crossbar.
"Alex had our first three goals. He's one of the guys I've had for three years now," Johnson said.
"He's just really taken to the senior leadership role and he's just putting the team on his back and doing really well."
Overall, Warren attempted 42 shots and 17 corners kicks. Athens had just the two first half shots and one corner kick. Alexander keeper Eric Russell had 14 saves while Schwendeman recorded two saves en route to pitching the shutout
"Every game we're improving," Johnson said. "We're not where we need to be yet, but we're definitely getting closer."
The Warriors will look to keep the offensive fireworks going when they host Logan Tuesday in another SEOAL battle.
"They're gonna be very solid, very strong," Johnson said. "It's gonna be a tough game for us. They always give us a tough game.
"I'm just hoping we can control the tempo and finish our chances. When we finish our chances that we get, I think we can play with anybody in our region."