Warren sweeps: Lady Warriors down Spartans, 6-2

VINCENT – The Warren Lady Warriors scored three first half goals, all coming off the foot of Raeli Barnes as they rolled to a 6-2 Southeastern Ohio Athletic League victory over the Alexander Lady Spartans Thursday night at Warren High School.

Barnes collected an unassisted goal in the game’s first five minutes to give the Lady Warriors an early 1-0 lead.

It was obvious from the start that the upstart Spartans were no match for the experienced Lady Warriors as Warren kept the ball on the offensive side of the pitch for almost the entire opening half.

Warren keeper Rachel Grogg had a rather uneventful first half as Alexander fired just two shots on goal with neither shot coming close to a Spartan goal.

While the shots on goal were few and far between for the Lady Spartans, they came a lot more freely for the royal blue and white as Warren got off some 17 attempts at the net in the opening period alone.

Barnes narrowly missed a goal in the 22nd minute when her shot sailed just over the net, while Raelyn Gardner’s look with 11:00 to play in the half on a nifty assist from Barnes was wide left.

Barnes would notch her second goal of the game with help from Natalie O’Dell seconds later, and then added her third with just over 16 seconds to play in the half on an assist from Gardner.

“She is a very skillful player,” said Warren head coach Ekrem Eski of Barnes. “When she is up against a team that is not that strong, it is easy for her to go to goal.”

While the Lady Warriors did much of their damage in the latter minutes of the opening half, they opened with a bang in the second half to blow things wide open.

With just over two minutes gone in the second half, O’Dell broke free on the right side and put the ball past Alexander goalie Danielle Adelsburger to give Warren a 4-0 lead.

Emma Yabs made it a 5-0 game when she converted a penalty kick with 33:11 to play enabling Eski to empty his bench and give his starters a rest early in the second half.

Despite the big lead, the Warren head coach saw plenty of room for improvement in his team.

“The outcome was good, but am I happy with the we played.. no I am not,” said Eski, who felt his team missed on too many opportunities. “We can do better than we played.”

Alexander finally got on the board late in the game when Breanna Rankin kicked a pair of goals within a minute of one another to close the lead to 5-2.

Megan Myers rounded out the scoring for Warren when she found the back of the net with just 16 seconds to play.

Warren got off 27 shots on goal compared to just six for the Lady Spartans, while Warren keepers Grogg and Janelle Barth notched two saves apiece.

Adelsburger collected 15 keeper saves for Alexander.

Eski would like to see a little bit more consistency from his squad as they move into a tougher portion of their schedule.

“It was a nice win and we played time to time very good soccer and time to time not,” said Eski. “It’s a nice league win.”

Alexander dropped to 0-3 on the season with the loss, while the Lady Warriors improved to 6-1 and 2-1 in the SEOAL.

Up next for Warren is a visit to Licking Heights High School on Saturday for a non-conference contest.