Washington County trio earns All-Ohio soccer honors

Marietta’s Austyn  Chen dribbles past Parkersburg’s Caden Rogers during a high school soccer game earlier this season.

Marietta’s Austyn Chen dribbles past Parkersburg’s Caden Rogers during a high school soccer game earlier this season.

On the pitch, Marietta High’s Lexie Mullen and Austyn Chen each was a first-rate goal scorer, who recently were honored as All-Ohio second team selections by the Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association (OSSCA).

Also named to the second all-state team was Warren senior midfielder and playmaker Matt Dugan.

Mullen, a junior striker on the Jeff Price-coached MHS girls’ team that posted a 15-3-1 overall record, scored a school single-season high 29 goals and added three assists. Last week, the speedy forward was honored as both a Division I District Player of the Year and a first-teamer.

“I am very humbled to have received this recognition as an All-Ohio player,” Mullen said. “Though this award technically has my name on it, I believe it is actually a reflection on the wonderful season my team had this year. Without them, I would not have been given any of this recognition, nor would I have been able to make such a successful impact on the field.”

When Mullen was a sophomore, she scored 22 goals and recorded four assists. In her freshman years, she had 18 goals and four assists.

Mullen’s three-year total reads 69 goals and 11 assists. During that period, the Tigers have compiled a 35-15-5 record.

“I am beyond proud of each and every one of my teammates,” Mullen said. “I have dedicated so much of my life working towards improving in this sport, but almost every moment has been enjoyable and worthwhile.

“From recreational league soccer, to club soccer, to high school soccer, I am eternally grateful to have found something that I am so passionate about. I cannot wait to step out on the pitch again next year, for one last high school season.”

An all-around athlete, Mullen competes on the Marietta track and field team in the spring.

A prolific scorer as well, Chen finished his senior campaign with 27 goals and six assists. He helped the Todd Morris-coached Tigers post a 10-7-2 overall record.

In Chen’s junior season, he scored 11 goals and recorded six assists. As a sophomore, he had 19 goals and five assists, and as a frosh, three goals and three assists.

During Chen’s four-year career, he had 60 goals and 20 assists. At the end of last fall’s season, he was named a district honoree for the third straight year. He’s also been an East Central Ohio League (ECOL) selection three consecutive seasons.

“I feel like that’s one of my main roles on the team,” said Chen of scoring goals. “But it’s also my role to bring everybody together and make sure that we can play well as a team, because soccer is a very team-oriented sport and not individual. Any night, it could be anybody scoring the goals.”

In Chen’s last match as a Tiger in the district final against Athens High at Logan High, he had a highlight head goal off a corner kick. And, in his second-to-last game versus Hillsboro High, he notched four goals.

“I wasn’t expecting to come to this game (Hillsboro) and put four goals in,” said Chen after the match.

Dugan was the principal playmaker on a 16-2-1 Warren team. As a midfielder, he was all over the pitch, and could score if he had to or play defense.

A year ago, Dugan, an excellent ballhandler, had a hat trick (three goals) in a 6-1 triumph over always-tough Athens High.

Last week, Dugan was a first-team all-district honoree.

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