Lady Warriors down Lady Tigers 3-1

DEVOLA – Raeli Barnes picked up where she left off last season.

The junior standout scored two goals to lead Warren (1-0) to a 3-1 season-opening triumph over Marietta High (0-1) in a non-conference girls’ soccer match at the Devola Soccer Complex Saturday.

Senior Jordan Miles had the two-time Southeastern Ohio Athletic League champion Warriors’ other score.

Against the Tigers last season, the Warriors won 5-2 and 3-1 with Barnes scoring a goal in each match.

“We need to have more players who can feed her (Barnes) to help her, so she can do better,” said Warren head coach Ekrem Eksi.

A year ago, Barnes scored 29 goals and was a second team All-Ohio honoree, a first-team district pick, and the SEOAL Player of the Year.

“Warren has a couple of people who can strike the ball,” said MHS head coach Jeff Price. “She (Barnes) doesn’t need any room to do that.”

Price said Marietta did not play any special defense against Barnes.

“I thought about it,” the Tiger coach said, “but it’s early in the season.

“We need to just learn how to play the game.”

In the opening half, Barnes and Miles each beat MHS junior keeper Nora Gulick to give Warren a 2-1 advantage. Marietta junior Sami Koons kept it close with a first-half score, a perimeter shot that got past Warrior senior keeper Janelle Barth.

“It was a pretty good shot from the outside,” Price said. “We just need to connect more as a team.”

Eksi believed Barth should have made the save on Koons’ boot.

“She had a ball come to her in the goal and should not have let that goal in,” the Warren coach said. “That was a mistake by her.”

Barnes capped all the scoring with an insurance goal in the second half.

“It’s always good to beat Marietta,” Eksi said. “It’s a good start, but it’s a long season. There’s a lot of good teams in our league, and we might struggle, I think.”

Warren is scheduled to play at Minford Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

“The girls are working hard but we’re short(handed),” Eksi said. “We need some players. Other than that, we’re OK. We’re having fun.”

Marietta is slated to play at John Glenn Tuesday at 5 p.m.

“We’re playing better than we were in our scrimmages,” Price said. “We’re starting to learn how to pass the ball. We got some opportunities (vs. Warren).

“There’s just a lot of learning to do. I think we’ll be fine.”