Still searching: Warren boys fall to Parkersburg High, remain winless
VINCENT — Ethan Yost’s goal on a direct kick with 4 minutes remaining here Tuesday night cut host Warren’s deficit to 2-1, but less than 60 seconds later Parkersburg delivered the dagger as the Big Reds left town with a hard-fought 3-1 boys soccer triumph.
Prior to the Warriors’ lone tally, Yost had a corner kick which was headed just wide by Joel Chevalier.
However, when Isaiah Owen found the back of the net for the second time a mere 39 seconds after Warren (0-5) had scored, that all but sealed the victory as the Big Reds improved to 2-4-1 with a road match coming up at 6 p.m. Thursday in Ripley.
“I saw there were (three) guys around me so I flicked it up hoping it would go behind me, which it didn’t,” Owen said of his second goal.
“But, I think I caught them off guard too so I just hit it with my shoulder past the two guys and then zoomed it into the back of the net.”
Owen took a feed from Hank Hines in the 15th minute and beat Warrior keeper Bryar Powell, but Warren head coach Ekrem Eksi saw things differently.
“It was obvious offside on that first goal. From here I can see it, a minimum of five yards,” said the coach, whose squad starts varsity action at 7 p.m. Thursday at Parkersburg South. “We were hoping this game would end up for us, but it didn’t happen. We’ve competed well.
“We kept it a long time like that (1-0) and then we made that one defensive mistake there. We made it 2-1 and a minute later it was 3-1. He (Owen) did a good job, but defensively, we had three people around him and they went back instead of closing in. We shouldn’t have given him that opportunity because we had plenty of people around the ball.”
The mistake coach Eksi was talking about came in the 59th minute when PHS went ahead 2-0 thanks to an unassisted Tanner Stauffer goal. The Warrior defense was unable to clear the ball and a header went from one side of the pitch to the other, which allowed an unmarked Stauffer to find the upper right corner.
“That was a brilliant kick he (Yost) had, give him all the credit for that,” said PHS head coach Don Fosselman of the tough save chance for keeper Jacob McKnight. “He just flat out beat us. The ball had a lot of spin and curve on it.
“I was really proud of our kids, stepping up on the ball tonight and finding feet and playing in space. I was just very proud of how we played tonight.”
The Big Reds had two quality chances in the first half go awry when the ball drilled the crossbar. In the 13th minute, Kiran Patel sent a crossing shot which appeared as though it was going to go in, only to have it bounce back. It was more of the same in the 35th minute when Keegan Bush sent a ball to Ashton Farnsworth, whose bicycle kick in the box also caromed off the post.
“We had a challenge and this team is coming along,” coach Fosselman added. “I think the team defense is really stepping up.”
Big Red Anthony Perez made a nice cross in the 4th minute, but no teammate was in the area.
Warren’s Gavin Ott had an early shot during the 8th minute of action which was off the mark as well as a cross into the box in the 23rd minute, but the Warriors couldn’t do anything with it.
Nearing the end of the first half, Warren nearly tied it on Matt Goodman’s direct kick, but McKnight was able to leap in the air and grab it to preserve the 1-0 halftime advantage.
A bad pass by the Warriors in the 41st minute nearly resulted in a red and white goal, but PHS’ Sam Potts had a tough angle and wasn’t able to score.
Warren had an opportunity not long after that, but Brayden Hanes’ through to Shane Gardner was knocked out of play by Caden Rogers, which resulted in a corner kick for Yost. However, that corner in the 45th minute was headed out of the box by Big Red Anthony Bradford.