Warriors shut out Parkersburg South, 3-0
VINCENT — A trio of scores in the second half got the job done for Warren, as the home-standing Warriors downed Parkersburg South in a 3-0 contest on Monday in Vincent. It was tough sledding for both sides in the early going, since both the Patriots and Warriors were feeling each other out.
South goalkeeper Christian Altizer squared off with Warren’s Hunter Hanes, and Altizer was pressed into far more action. He averted a bigger injury in the 23rd minute after colliding with WHS’s Pablo Clotet, as he tweaked his ankle on the play. Altizer came back after a couple minutes away and didn’t miss a beat in the first half.
Then, Warren’s second-half striking showed up right when it was needed. The Warriors already held a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal after one half, but none of those shots found the back of the South net. That changed after Warren spent even more time on the Patriots’ side of the pitch.
Derek McAfee was the main beneficiary of Warren’s attack. He netted the team’s first goal in the 51st minute when he received an assist from Caleb Burns. The pass to McAfee set the senior up right in front of the net where he fired a shot past the diving Altizer. The only second-half shot on goal for South came from Christian Barton, but the long attempt was caught by Hanes just a minute before Warren’s opening strike. That’s how the rest of the contest went, as South couldn’t get anything going offensively. Despite the efforts of South’s defense, Warren just kept blasting away. Ben Goodman slapped a shot off a WHS direct kick that Altizer deflected off the top of the goal with 25 minutes remaining, but more trouble brewed for PSHS.
Ten minutes later, Clotet scored off a look given to him by Devyan Wilson to make it 2-0. That tally dug South into a hole it couldn’t dig itself out of, as Warren kept on threatening. Burns came back in the 76nd minute and scored on a header following a shot that was initially slapped away by Altizer, as that was the dagger. South plays PHS in a sectional next Tuesday, and head coach Jamie Whitlach’s crew is raring to get back on the pitch. With this loss, however, the Patriots fell to 5-10-1 with the all-important rivalry matchup on the horizon.
“They fought hard, but it’s just we’re not as deep as other teams,” Whitlach admitted following the setback. “We just got a little sloppy. They’ll be up for (the match with Parkersburg), and they’ll play harder for that game. We’ve just got to be more focused.”
That sentiment from Whitlach could carry his team towards bigger things in the future, as the Patriots battled the Big Red in a 1-0 loss on September 14. As for the victors, Warren (3-8-5) has a date with John Glenn on Saturday to close out the regular season. Then, it’s on to Athens in the postseason. The Warriors are familiar with Athens, having dropped a 3-2 match to AHS on September 25. The close call in that match gives head coach Jon Hurley a reason to believe his team can get it done. In the case of the South match, a change in the team’s offensive strategy worked to perfection.
“Our game was to just possess the ball and get a couple swings outside, a couple crosses,” Hurley said of his team’s approach in this victory. “We changed our style up. We were in a 3-4-3 because we wanted to attack more. When we’ve only won 2-3 games on the season, what’s it going to hurt? If we’re not scoring, we need to attack more. We thought we could do it, if we put three strikers back there.”
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