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Marietta booters are still unbeaten

At halftime, during last Thursday night’s Marietta High at Warren High rivalry girls’ soccer match, the Jeff Price-coached Tigers got a rousing pep talk and cheer from senior Ethan Feathers.

The score was 0-0 at the intermission.

“We go to the boys’ games all the time,” said MHS girls’ senior co-captain Maria Pfaff. “And we see how Ethan can motivate his team.”

Feathers plays outside attacking mid for the the Todd Morris-led Tiger booters.

“So, we thought,” continued Pfaff, “why not bring him to this game.

“I mean, of all games, this would be the one to bring him to.”

Well, whether it was Feathers’ “inspirational talk” or not, Marietta was fired up and went on to score three goals after the break to defeat the Andy Pinkerton-led Warriors (10-2-3), 3-1.

Pfaff had two of those goals, and her freshman sister Kristen added an insurance score.

With the victory, the Marietta girls stretched their winning streak to a program-best 14. The repeat East Central Ohio League-champion Tigers, No. 15-ranked in the Division I OSSCA State Poll with a 14-0-0 record (6-0-0 ECOL) , have two remaining regular-season road games on their schedule, at Williamstown Thursday and at Zane Trace Saturday.

Then, MHS, No. 3-seeded in the sectional, is slated to host either No. 6-seeded North Canton Hoover or 11-seeded Canton McKinley at 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at Jerry Brock Field.

Here’s the kicker. Massillon Jackson is top-seeded and Boardman 2-seeded in the sectional – and neither is ranked in the D1 State Poll.

Doesn’t make sense, especially since Marietta, if it continues winning and advances, will have to play at Boardman and then maybe later against Massillon Jackson at a site up north.

Seems to me if a school goes undefeated and is ranked, it should be rewarded with home field advantage throughout the tournament until a neutral finals site.

OK, OK. First things first. Will the Marietta girls be undefeated before the postseason kicks off?

Well, the Tigers are expecting some tough competition against the Ben Rinehart-coached Yellowjackets (14-2-1) and the Pioneers (5-9-1) .

But there’s no question, the Marietta girls are flirting with program history at the school.

Thing is, the MHS boys are in a similar situation this week.

The repeat ECOL-champion Tigers, No. 8 in the Division II OSSCA State Poll with a 12-0-1 mark (5-0-1 ECOL), are slated to close out regular-season play with three straight home matches against Logan (tonight), Warren (Thursday) and Tri-Valley (Saturday).

The Tigers’ only “blemish” was a 2-2 tie at Dover earlier in the season.

Still, will they, too, be unbeaten before the postseason competition?

By the end of the week, both the Marietta girls and boys could be a combined 31-0-1 on the pitch.

Not many schools, if any, in the country can boast a soccer mark like that.

Hopefully, the Tiger booters will be able to do so.

Ron Johnston can be reached at rjohnston@mariettatimes.com

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