Marietta High needed either a win or a tie against River View to repeat as East Central Ohio League boys' soccer champions at the Devola Soccer Complex Saturday night.
The Tigers had to settle for a 1-1 come-from-behind draw in a match they pretty much dominated.
"It's frustrating, because we kind of backed into the league title," said MHS head coach Todd Morris. "It would have been nice to have won the game on the field. It was a missed opportunity for us."
RON JOHNSTON The Marietta Times
Marietta High boys’ head soccer coach Todd Morris (head bowed) huddles up with his Tigers after they repeated as East Central Ohio League champions with a 1-1 come-from-behind draw against visiting River View Saturday night.
Said Marietta outside mid Skylar Miracle, "We thought we were going to win this one. We thought it would be better winning the league by going out with a win, but...at least we came back and tied it up in the second half. That was pretty good."
With the deadlock, Marietta improved its record to 8-2-3 overall and 5-0-2 in the ECOL. Dover was 3-0-3 in league play.
River View now owns a 4-7-3 overall mark.
Marietta 1, River View 1
(Tigers repeat as ECOL champions)
at Devola Soccer Complex
River View (4-7-3) 1 0 - 1
Marietta (8-2-3, 5-0-2) 0 1 - 1
RV: Sam Hart, direct kick, 10th minute
M: Skylar Miracle, unassisted, 55th minute
Shots: M 16, RV 2
Keeper saves: M (Eric Pierce) 1, RV (Matthew Prior) 16
Corner kicks: M 9, RV 1
Next match: Marietta at Alexander Tuesday
Marietta 2, River View 1
Marietta (6-6-1) 1 1 - 2
River View 1 0 - 1
Marietta goals: Molly Josefson 2
Next match: Parkersburg South at Marietta at 5 p.m. Thursday
"I was very pleased with how our boys played tonight," said River View head coach Bornwell Sianjina. "Marietta is a very tough team to play.
"It's kind of hard when you don't have the numbers. Today, I only had 12 players."
The Black Bears staked themselves to a 1-0 advantage in the 10th minute of play when Sam Hart drilled a direct kick from outside of the penalty area by Tiger keeper Eric Pierce. That score held up at the intermission.
After the break, Marietta went on the offensive and had the River View defense on its heels for most of the 40 minutes of play. During the 55th minute, the Tigers got the equalizer on a tough-angled shot from the right wing by Miracle.
"I saw an opportunity because their defender was looking the other way," Miracle said. "So, I stole the ball, and found the back of the net.
"I think their keeper (Matthew Prior) was not expecting me to shoot that because it was from a weird angle. He came out, and thought I was going to pass it, so I just snuck one in on him."
During second half action, Marietta gave Prior, who finished the match with 15 saves, a real workout between the pipes. First, the Black Bear junior goalie broke up a near breakaway by MHS striker Ryan Teer.
Prior then had to make a diving save of a shot by Marietta's Owen LaBarre and another stop on a boot by Miracle.
With under six minutes left in the match, Prior had to tip Brent Huck's long, hard, direct kick shot over the crossbar.
"Their keeper (Prior) had an amazing game," Morris said. "He obviously kept them in the game. But we've got to be better. As good as he played, we made him look a lot better."
River View had only one shot on goal in the second half, and Pierce was able to catch Black Bear booter Max Thomsen's direct kick on the fly.
"I guess we showed some resolve coming back," Morris said. "But we just didn't put them (River View) away. With 13 games into the season, we've got to be better than this. We need to finish better."
Marietta is scheduled to play at Alexander on Tuesday, and then conclude regular-season play against Morgan at the Devola Soccer Complex on Thursday. Both are non-league matches.