Mullen’s hat trick leads MHS to win

Marietta’s Grace Crosby (13) controls the ball as New Philadelphia’s Cara Ramey defends during a high school girls soccer match Tuesday at Jerry Brock Field in Devola. Marietta won, 4-0. JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times

DEVOLA — Marietta High has been unbeatable this season.

Outside of a 1-1 tie to Alexander on Aug. 31, the Lady Tigers soccer team has won every match it’s played. MHS kept the success going Tuesday evening at Jerry Brock Field with a 4-0 victory over East Central Ohio League foe New Philadelphia. The win upped Marietta’s record to 7-0-1 on the season.

Lexie Mullen put together a hat trick for the Tigers, giving her a team-leading 15 goals on the season. Emily Mendenhall had Marietta’s first goal on a free kick in the ninth minute to get things started.

“Each game we seem to be getting better,” said Marietta head coach Jeff Price, whose team plays host to John Glenn at 3 p.m. Saturday. “Other people are getting more involved in the offense. (Mullen) was the one that broke through but there were other opportunities for other people as well.”

Mendenhall’s goal gave Marietta an early cushion and more confidence.

“That was huge,” said Mullen, a junior forward. “Once that first one hits the net it takes a lot of pressure off.”

Mullen buried a shot with 3:43 left to go in the first half to make it 2-0, and added two more goals late in the second half. She also had a goal at the 37:40 mark coming out of halftime off an assist from Maria Plaff, but it was negated by an offside call.

“I’m so excited,” Mullen said. “We have such good chemistry and we’re playing really well together right now.”

For the fifth time this season, Marietta goalkeeper Brooke Heiss posted a clean sheet. The Quakers attempted just two shots on goal in the match and Heiss saved them both.

“I think we never allowed them to get started, which was what we wanted to do,” Price said. “Once we started getting shots on goal it put them in a little bit of a quandary. The whole team played really well.”

The Tigers shot on target nine times, with New Philly keeper Penelope Cantu saving five. Price said Marietta’s passing was strong which gave them an advantage.

“(The Quakers) like to hit a long ball and that tends to get you hitting long balls back and forth and turning it into a ping pong match,” the MHS coach said. “For the most part the girls settled down and passed well.”

On the Quakers’ two best opportunities to score — the 34th minute and the 55th minute — each time the shot sailed over the goal.

Up 2-0 with time winding down, Mullen found the back of the net once in the 59th minute and again in the 65th minute to seal the deal.

“I think we’re improving as we’re going along,” Price said. “We’re dropping some of the older habits and picking up better, newer habits. I think that’s great.”