VINCENT - Alex Miller scored four goals to pace the top-seeded Warren Warriors to a 5-0 sectional tournament opener victory over the No. 9-seeded Northwest Mohawks at Warren High School Tuesday.
Miller scored a pair of goals in each of the two halves as the Warriors spent almost the entire game on the offensive to easily dispose of the Mohawks and advance to the second round of tournament play.
"He is just so strong and quick," said Warrior head coach Andrew Johnson of Miller, who also doubles as the place kicker for the Warrior football team. "He's been here ever since I've been here and he's definitely worked hard and I am very proud of how he has really come into his own."
KEVIN PIERSON The Marietta Times
Warren’s Seth Hall (23) battles a Northwest player for a loose ball during sectional first-round action in Vincent Tuesday night. The Warriors won 5-0.
KEVIN PIERSON The Marietta Times
Warren’s Wyatt Lynch (11) dribbles as Northwest’s Levi Lewis defends during sectional first-round action in Vincent Tuesday. Warren’s Kendrick Hendrix (40) is in the background. The Warriors won 5-0.
Miller got the scoring underway on somewhat of an odd goal.
Aaron Mazurkiewicz sent a penalty kick into the air and Miller headed it softly towards the goal.
Mohawk goalie Drew Scarberry was anticipating the shot coming towards the left side of the goal and Miller's header rolled past him to the right to give Warren a 1-0 lead just seven minutes into the game.
WARREN 5 NORTHWEST 0
Sectional Opener at Warren High School
Northwest (8-8-2) 0 0 - 0
Warren (13-2-2) 3 2 - 5
W: Alex Miller goal (Aaron Mazurkiewicz assist) 7th minute
W: Aaron Mazurkiewicz goal 26th minute
W: Miller goal (Carter Magers goal) 37th minute
W: Miller goal 52nd minute
W: Miller goal (Majors assist) 71st minute
Shots On Goal: NW:1, W:27
Keeper Saves: NW: 15, W: 1.
Penalties: NW:5, W:5
Corner Kicks: NW:2, W:6.
Next game: Waverly at Warren Saturday at 4 p.m.
"He (Mazurkiewicz) does a really good job of finding me," said Miller of his teammate. "We do that in practice a lot and were able to get it done tonight."
Later in the opening half Mazurkiewicz drilled a shot past Scarberry and into the back of the net for a 2-0 Warren lead with 13:25 to play in the half.
Miller would extend the lead to 3-0 with under four minutes to play in the first, this time with a little help by way of an assist off the foot of Carter Magers.
"We grew up together and have always played soccer together," said Miller of Magers who ended the game with a pair of assists. "He did a great job of finding me there in the final third and I was able to put it away for him."
While Scarberry was busy most of the evening protecting the goal for Northwest, Warrior goalie Tyler Schwendeman saved the only Mohawk shot on goal fired his way.
Warren got off 27 shots in the game with Scarberry saving 15 of them.
Miller made it a hat trick early in the second period with another header for a goal, this one on a rebound off of the cross bar to make it a 4-0 game.
The royal blue and white rounded out the scoring when Miller nailed his 36th goal of the season, with help once again from Magers to make it 5-0 with just under nine minutes to go in the game.
Despite the dominate victory, Johnson saw plenty of room for improvement for his team, especially the way they played in the first half.
"We came out a little slow and they showed us some things that we need to work on," said Johnson, who spent much of halftime on the pitch working with several of the Warrior players on their passing. "You can possess all game but sometimes you have to go somewhere with it. We kept the ball, we just weren't really dangerous with it."
The Warrior head coach was pleased with the improvement he saw in the second half.
"I get really frustrated when we don't play smart, good soccer, the type of soccer that I know we can play," said Johnson. "I think in the second half we were able to attack and pick things up a little bit."
The loss brings the Mohawks season to a close with an 8-8-2 record.
"We are a young team and we are going to get better," said Northwest head coach Josh Keeney. "Warren is just a better team. They are a number one seed for a reason."
Warren, 13-2-2 on the season with the win, will host Waverly - which defeated Athens 3-0 Tuesday evening - at 4 p.m. Saturday in second-round tournament action.