DEVOLA - Eighty minutes was not enough time to decide a winner between Marietta and Dover Tuesday evening at Devola Soccer Complex, as the two teams scored a goal apiece to finish with a 1-1 tie.
Marietta (0-1-1 overall, 0-0-1 ECOL) remains without a win this season while Dover (2-0-1, 0-0-1) still hasn't lost. It was the first league match of the season for the two squads, both of which finished in the top two spots in the ECOL-Scarlet Division a year ago.
In 2012, the Tigers and Tornadoes played to a scoreless tie in Dover, and it was more of the same Tuesday, with the exception of the two goals scored.
JORDAN HOLLAND The Marietta Times
Marietta High’s Jacob Holdren (8) passes the ball to Max Suckel (11) as teammate Grant Gandor (top) and Dover’s Evan Wherley (10) look on during soccer action against Dover at the Devola Soccer Complex Tuesday night. Marietta and Dover tied 1-1.
"It was the kind of game I expected," said MHS head coach Todd Morris.
"I was expecting a close, physical match, and that's just what it was."
Physical, indeed. The two teams were chippy all game, with three yellow cards handed out on the night.
MARIETTA 1, DOVER 1
At Devola Soccer Complex
Dover (2-0-1 overall, 0-0-1 ECOL) - 0 1 - 1
Marietta (0-1-1 overall, 0-0-1 ECOL) - 0 1 - 1
D - Anthony D'Egidio goal, free kick, 45th minute
M - Max Suckel goal, Jacob Holdren assist, 52nd minute
Shots on goal: D 9, M 17
Keeper saves: D 14 (Matt Pleshinger), M 5 (Eric Pierce)
Corner kicks: D 8, M 7
Next match: Marietta at Morgan Thursday
"We've been tested early with our schedule," Morris said. "You don't like taking a tie on your home field."
After a scoreless first half, Dover got on the board just six minutes into the second half. It was Anthony D'Egidio who did the damage for the Tornadoes on a free kick.
"I thought it was a great free kick," said Dover head coach Rod Simmons. "We ran a little screen in front. Anthony kept it low which was great. He's a field goal kicker so usually we have to fight the urge to go up.
"Just upset we didn't get (a goal) in the flow of play."
That sequence seemed to wake up Marietta's offense, as the Tigers responded just over six minutes later with their lone goal. Max Suckel and Jacob Holdren combined for the score, as Holdren made a nice pass to Suckel who pushed the ball just past Dover goalie Matt Pleshinger into the right side of the net.
"(Holdren) was able to play a nice ball through to Max," Morris said, "and Max finished. It was a nice finish by Max. (Dover's) goal-keeper played a strong game.
"He saved the game for them a couple times."
One of those times came with just over two minutes left in the contest.
Marietta's Ryan Teer dribbled the ball up the middle through the Dover defense and had just Pleshinger to beat. Pleshinger charged towards Teer, and Teer attempted a shot to Pleshinger's left, but the Dover keeper made a game-saving diving stop to preserve the tie.
"I thought that was gonna win it," Morris said. "Credit their keeper for making the save, but we've got to finish better, too."
Pleshinger finished with 14 saves and surrendered one goal. Tiger keeper Eric Pierce also gave up just one goal and had five saves.
Marietta had 17 shots on goal while Dover had nine.
"We had our chances to win," Morris said. "I think the last six or seven minutes we had some quality chances to win. Just couldn't quite finish.
"Two goals in two games, we've got to improve there. We'll keep working."
The MHS Tigers are back in action Thursday when they travel to McConnelsville to take on the Morgan Raiders.