Haught in here: Sophomore steps up in goal, Williamstown boys soccer tops Warren

RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times Warren’s Ethan Yost (7) battles Williamstown’s Grant Bobbitt (2) for the ball during prep boys’ soccer action Thursday night. Williamstown won 4-2.

WILLIAMSTOWN — Baylor Haught got a text at Williamstown High Thursday asking him if he wanted to play goalie against Warren High that evening.

“It was Coach (Jason Hill), and I said, ‘I guess. Of course, I will,'” Haught said.

Turns out that Yellowjacket starting senior keeper Joseph James had flu-like symptons and was unable to play. Haught, a sophomore, is normally a backup defender.

In any event, in Haught’s first varsity start between the pipes, he helped the Jacket booters defeat visiting Warren High, 4-2, and improve their overall record to 3-0-1.

“I haven’t played goalie since U8,” said 15-year-old Haught, who finished the match with five saves. “I was pretty nervous at the start. But once I started getting into it, I felt a lot better.”

Haught laughed.

“We (Haught and Hill) were in the car 25 minutes before the game on the white board, like he (Hill) was trying to explain to me how to be a goalie.” Haught said.

“It was a really fun experience.”

Making Haught’s efforts even more impressive was that Williamstown played the entire second half short-handed, 10 versus 11.

“The defense stood up and stepped up — and helped protect our goalie,” Jason Hill said. “Baylor made a couple of big saves, and you really couldn’t tell if you were walking by that he’s not a regular goalie.”

Hill paused.

“It was good to be on the winning side, and to do it with 10 guys, I think that’s what I’m most proud about,” the coach added.

Offensively, Williamstown had four scorers with Trenton Lynch, Dylan Cosner, Garret Hill, and Xavier Caruthers each getting a goal. Cosner also had an assist as did Boston Caruthers.

Warren (0-3) got unassisted goals from Ethan Yost and Preston Rowland-Demster. Bryar Powell started the match at keeper but was relieved by Dylan Place.

“We made so many mistakes as team,” said Warriors boss Ekrem Eksi. “As a group, we didn’t know where to move, where to stay, when to push up, and when to switch to the other side. And that’s become a problem for us. Right now, we just don’t have that confidence in ourselves.”

Williamstown staked itself to a 1-0 advantage in the ninth minute of play when Lynch booted a ball into an open net. Boston Caruthers got the assist.

About two minutes later, though, Warren tied the score at 1-all on a nice run and kick by Yost just outside the penalty box on the left flank.

But the Jackets regained the lead 2-1 on Cosner’s unassisted goal. On the play, the Warriors were unable to clear the ball out, and Cosner made them pay for it.

With 7:32 left before halftime, Garret Hill got a drop back pass from Cosner on the perimeter, and he was able to blast the ball past Place, making it 3-1.

After the break, Warren had a man-advantage and was able to cut it to 3-2 on Rowland-Demster’s goal in the 57th minute. About three minutes later, the Warriors almost got the equalizer on Matt Goodwin’s direct kick, but the ball caromed off the crossbar.

With 14:41 remaining in the match, Williamstown surged on offense, and one of its players was fouled by a Warrior defender in the penalty box. On the ensuing PK attempt, Xavier Caruthers converted to make it 4-2.

Late in the game, Warren had a golden opportunity to reduce the deficit, but missed an open net.

Haught gave a lot of credit to the Williamstown defense.

“Our backs were very helpful,” he said. “Deshon Simon, Gavin Bosgraf, and Damian Cunningham were a lot of help in the second half.”