Win No. 400: Marietta boys blank Dover, 3-0, for milestone victory
DEVOLA — History was made at Jerry Brock Field Tuesday night.
The Marietta High boys’ soccer program notched a milestone 400th win when the Tigers blanked Dover High, 3-0, in a season opening and East Central Ohio League match.
“I was here for 100, 200, 300, and now 400,” said MHS head coach Todd Morris. “That’s a lot of wins. It just shows you the quality we’ve had the last 30-plus years. It’s a big night for our program and a big night for the guys, because it’s a conference win.
“I thought from front to back that we were solid. I still see work to do, but it’s always good to get a win and have things to work on than get a loss.”
Added MHS junior captain Jake Craven, “It’s always nice to get the 400th win on opening day against Dover.”
Sean Fournier, Mason Wittekind, and Ethan Feathers each had a goal for the winners, while goalkeeper Justin Labarre finished with six saves and was credited with a clean sheet.
“Justin, for his first varsity start (in goal), was outstanding,” Morris said. “I can’t say enough good things about how he played. He bailed us out a couple of times.”
Dover (0-1-1) is still seeking its first win of the campaign. The Tornadoes tied West Holmes, 1-1, in their Saturday season opener.
“All the credit to Marietta,” said DHS boss Mike Harrington. “They had two really nice goals. We’ve got to mark a little bit better on defense and progress from there. And, we’ve got to finish a little bit better, too.”
Dover keeper Chase Sanda recorded eight saves, and defender Andrew McVicker had a non-goalie save in the second half.
Marietta staked itself to a 1-0 advantage in the 15th minute of play on a nice, individual effort by Fournier. The Tiger junior surged on goal from the left wing, and beat Sanda with a hard, angled shot.
“For our first game, I thought we started out really nervous and anxious,” Morris said. “We weren’t composed on the ball. But once we got that first goal, we kind of calmed down a little bit and played much better.”
MHS stretched its lead to 2-0 in the 31st minute on a rebound goal by Wittekind. On the play, Craven attacked and drilled a shot that Sanda batted away, right to Wittekind.
“I was just glad he was there to finish it,” Craven said.
At the intermission, Marietta led 2-0.
Early in the second half, Dover was whistled for a handball in the penalty area. But Marietta was unable to capitalize on the PK as Ryan Mannix’s boot was wide right.
In the 59th minute, the Tigers nearly got an open-net goal from Javi Carrera, an exchange student from Spain. But McVicker was able to come out of practically nowhere to clear the ball over the end line, and the Tigers had to settle for a corner kick.
“That was good hustle by Andrew,” Harrington said.
About 10 minutes later, though, Carrera delivered a nice through-pass to Feathers, who beat Sanda, to make it 3-0.
“Javi’s been here for about 10 days,” Morris said. “And, obviously, he’s going to have a positive impact on us.”
Marietta is scheduled to host the Don Fosselman-coached Parkersburg Big Reds at 7 p.m. Saturday.
“That’s always fun playing them,” Morris said. “We have a talented group and if we can put them in the right place, who knows.”
Added Craven, “We’ll be very prepared for Parkersburg. It’s one of our main games that we’re looking forward to this season.”