Chen’s 4 goals bury South, lift Marietta in 6-0 win

Marietta's Gavin Estes (23) attempts a shot as Parkersburg South keeper Chase Hawkins saves it during a high school boys soccer match Thursday at Jerry Brock Field in Devola. Marietta won, 6-0. Photo by Jordan Holland.

DEVOLA — Marietta High may have had trouble staying onside, but it didn’t have any issues finding the back of the net.

In a 6-0 Senior Night victory over Parkersburg South Thursday at Jerry Brock Field, Marietta’s John Mannix was called offsides six times while Austyn Chen had five. The Tigers didn’t let it bother them, though, as they snapped a three-game losing streak and improved to 8-5-2 with one regular season match left before tournament play.

“We were getting guys forward,” said MHS head coach Todd Morris, whose team plays Circleville Saturday at Rio Grande. “Maybe we could have got the ball off a split-second earlier or held the run a little longer.”

Added Chen, who scored four goals and assisted on another versus South, “I think the reason why we had so many offsides tonight is because South prepared for the offsides trap. We haven’t played against very many teams that do that. It just threw us off guard.”

But the story of the match wasn’t Marietta’s miscues. The Tigers attacked early and often, scoring two goals five minutes into the match. Chen scored both, one assisted by Jake Craven and the other by Mannix.

“That kind of let them settle down a little bit,” Morris said of the hot start. “They were amped up and they were looking to attack. We came out ready.”

Parkersburg South keeper Chase Hawkins finished with 11 saves, but Marietta recorded 17 shots on goal. The Tigers also honored their eight seniors — Chen, Mannix, Ian Coleman, Dakota Lee, Max Miller, Clayton Hupp, Austin Treadway and Gavin Estes.

“Senior Night is always fun,” Morris said. “You don’t know how the energy — if it’s going to be a positive thing or a negative thing. Today, it was a positive thing.”

Coleman saved all three of South’s shots on goal for a clean sheet. South didn’t get many opportunities to score with Marietta possessing the ball most of the match.

“This was a perfect way to break a three-game losing streak,” Chen said. “Having a shutout and putting six goals in on a team is pretty outstanding.”

Marietta had lost three straight games to River View, Alexander and Warren.

“It’s good to get back on the winning side of things,” Morris said. “We’re playing well, even in those losses. Now it’s just a matter of building some confidence and momentum for the tournament.”

Marietta made it 3-0 when Craven scored an unassisted goal in the 20th minute.

In the second half, Cade Gandor got in on the action with a goal off a nice pass from Chen to make it 4-0 in the 51st minute.

With a little less than 16 minutes left in the match, Chen secured a hat trick with an unassisted goal. He’d add a fourth goal two minutes later on Sean Fournier’s assist.

“I’m just happy for our seniors,” Morris said. “We moved the ball around pretty well. Just a good, quality team win.”

South will look to rebound Saturday when it plays host to Wood County Christian in its regular season finale. The Tigers also wrap up regular season play Saturday before turning their attention to Unioto at 5 p.m. Thursday in a sectional final at Jerry Brock Field.

“Can’t wait for the tournament run,” Chen said. “I feel like we’re going to go in strong.”