With four games scheduled against quality opponents in a span of just eight days, Marietta Tiger soccer coach Todd Morris had hoped his squad could build some momentum as the high school soccer season moves into the second half of play.
Three-quarters of the way through, the orange and black has done exactly that after defeating the visiting Parkersburg South Patriots 1-0 Thursday evening at the Devola Soccer Complex.
The win comes on the heels of Tiger victories over Athens (5-2) last Saturday and an East Central Ohio League win over New Philadelphia (2-1) on Tuesday.
Photo courtesy of Hannah Gammon
Marietta High’s Clay Mason, right, reacts to the crowd’s cheering as he enters the game at the Devola Soccer Complex Thursday night. The Tigers beat Parkersburg South, 1-0.
"We are in a brutal part of our schedule and have picked up a couple of tough wins and Parkersburg South is another quality team," said Morris. "We had to battle tonight but that is a very good test for us."
Junior Max Suckel converted his 12th goal of the season off an assist from Ryan Teer to provide MHS will all the offense it would need in the win over the Patriots.
With just under 20 minutes to go in the game Teer fought to keep the ball in play down the left corner before sending the ball to the middle where Suckel beat PSHS goal keeper Adam Colteryahn for the game's lone goal.
MARIETTA 1, SOUTH 0
at Devola Soccer Complex
Parkersburg South (5-5) 0 0 - 0
Marietta (7-2-1) 0 1 - 1
M: Max Suckel goal (Ryan Teer assist) 61st minute
Shots on Goal: PS:12 MHS:21
Keeper Saves: PS:11 (Adam Colteryahn) MHS:7 (Eric Pierce)
Penalties: PS:8, MHS:8
Corner Kicks: PS:0, MHS:9.
Next game: Philo at Marietta Saturday at 6 p.m., Parkersburg South at Weirton Saturday.
"We were knocking at the goal for awhile and controlled possession for the majority of the game," said Morris. "It was just total effort by Ryan (Teer) to chase the ball down in the corner, work to win the ball and then great service to Max (Suckel) and Max did what Max does and that's finish."
The Tigers seemed to be on the offensive for much of the game as they got off 21 shots in the game compared to just 12 for Parkersburg South but they couldn't reach the back of the net through the first 60 minutes of play.
The Tigers had a decent shot at a goal right out of the gate as senior Skylar Miracle's shot on goal was wide left in the first minute of the match.
Perhaps the best shot at a Patriot goal came with 13 minutes to play in the first half when Franklin Miller's shot was slightly off the mark after a nice send from Brad Emerick.
The Tigers missed on a couple of more scoring opportunities in the opening half when Suckel's shot with 11 minutes to play was blocked by Colteryahn while Teer's shot on goal with seven minutes to play sailed just over the goal.
Colteryahn would spend much of the second half protecting the net as the Tigers had at least five quality looks at the goal but each time the sophomore goalie rose to the occasion.
"Adam (Colteryahn) is playing really well for us right now," said Parkersburg South head coach Ed Ayers of his keeper. "He kept us in the game there several times."
Colteryahn came up with 11 keeper saves in the game while Tiger senior keeper and captain Eric Pierce had seven.
The Tigers were unable to convert any of their nine corner kicks into goals while the Patriots attempted zero in the game.
Wyatt Parsons had a decent look at a game-tying goal for the Patriots with five minutes to play but it went wide right and that would prove to be their last true chance for a score.
The Tigers improved to 7-2-1 on the season with the win while South fell to 5-5 with the loss.
"This was a good win, they are always a quality opponent and they are well coached," said Morris.
Ayers felt the two teams were very even.
"It was a good effort against a very tough team," said Ayers, whose team will next travel to Weirton on Saturday. "We knew they (MHS) were going to be tough coming in and they played well."
The Tigers will remain home Saturday for a non- conference game against the Philo Electrics.