Tiger boys finish regular season unbeaten
Four MHS boys score in 4-1 victory over Tri-Valley
DEVOLA — Marietta High’s boys’ soccer team concluded regular-season play Saturday Senior Night at Jerry Brock Field on an unbeaten note.
After defeating the Tri-Valley Dawgs, 4-1, the MHS booters will kick off Ohio Division II sectional tournament play with a program-best 15-0-1 overall record, which includes a repeat East Central Ohio League mark of 5-0-1. The Tigers’ only “blemish” was a 2-2 tie at Dover earlier in the season.
“Everything that I expected out of the season, I knew from the very start that it was going to be a great one — undefeated of course and nothing less,” said MHS co-captain Jake Craven, who had one goal and two assists against the Dawgs. “Every single one of these players on this team is a brother to me, and I couldn’t have spent this season with anyone else. I totally expected this out of us.”
Tourney top-seeded Marietta is scheduled to host either Waverly or Chesapeake at 5 p.m. Thursday. If they win that match, they’ll host another match at 11 a.m. Saturday.
“I’m so happy and proud of these guys for what they’ve accomplished in the regular season,” said MHS head coach Todd Morris.
“We had a 15-1 regular season but never an unbeaten one.”
Against Tri-Valley, Marietta, No. 8-ranked in the Oct. 7 OSSCA State Poll, had four different goal-scorers in Ryan Mannix, Craven, Cayden Wheeler, and Jackson Graham. With those four scores, the Tigers now have 100 goals on the season.
“The record is 112 set in 1999,” Morris said. “So, we have that in our sights, too.”
Marietta keeper Justin LaBarre finished with three saves, while Tri-Valley goalie Tyler McClellan had 16 saves.
Tri-Valley averted a shutout in the second half when Brady Baker headed home Mason Dunn’s direct kick in the 48th minute. That goal reduced the deficit to 3-1.
During first half action, Mannix staked the Tigers to a 1-0 advantage with a goal off a right-side corner kick in the fifth minute. Craven got the assist, his 18th of the season.
Mannix’s goal was his 33rd, a single-season school record.
In the 27th minute, Craven scored his 14th goal of the campaign to make it 2-0.
Then, in the 32nd minute, Wheeler stretched the Tiger lead to 3-1 with his fifth goal of the season.
At halftime, MHS led 3-0.
Early in the second half, Tri-Valley cut it to 3-1 on Baker’s score.
Then, with time winding down, Graham capped all the scoring with the team’s 100th goal of the fall. Craven got the assist, his 19th of the campaign.
“Now, we’ll enjoy this win for 48 hours, and then prepare for Thursday,” Morris said.
After the match, the Marietta boys’ program recognized and honored its 11 seniors — Ryley Warner, Cade Gandor, Maclane Roe, Sean Fournier, Keegan Jack, Ethan Feathers, Nick Simon, LaBarre, Craven, Graham, and Mannix.
Ron Johnston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org