PARKERSBURG - Reid Strobl earned a shutout, Matt Powney tallied a pair of goals and Evan Rhodes ended his final career match here Tuesday night at Stadium Field with a bang as host Parkersburg rolled to a 5-0 victory versus Parkersburg South in a Class AAA, Region I, Section 1 soccer semifinal.
Second-seeded Parkersburg, ranked fifth in the state, improved to 16-1-3 and will play top-seeded and No. 2 ranked Wheeling Park at 7 p.m. Thursday at Wheeling Island Stadium for the sectional championship.
"What impressed me the most about the team tonight was the composure they had on the ball," said PHS head coach Don Fosselman, whose squad had a 17-4 edge in shots on goal. "They weren't rushed. They played to feet. They attacked where South gave us a chance to attack and they kept the pressure on South the whole time."
Photo by Jay W. Bennett
Parkersburg’s Tyler Parsons makes a throw-in which led to the Big Reds’ first goal of the match Tuesday night at Stadium Field. PHS won its sectional semifinal 5-0 against Parkersburg South.
The Big Reds, who defeated PSHS by scores of 3-1 and 4-1 during the regular season, got on the board just 2:27 into the match. Following a Tyler Parsons throw-in, Tommy Logston flicked the ball to Hunter Hill, who proceeded to head it to Powney. Powney was then able to find Tyler Bro, who found the back of the net for the only goal the red and white ended up needing.
After Austin Yeater left the game following a fall, Big Red Travon Nelson entered and nearly scored a goal in the ninth minute. Although his shot was stopped by Patriot keeper Adam Colteryahn, the ball came out of his grasp and Logston was there for the easy rebound and a quick 2-0 cushion.
Parkersburg South (12-8) caught a break at the end of the 14th minute when PHS was called for a handball, but couldn't take advantage. Brett Mattson's penalty kick was a hot shot on the ground, but Strobl made the second of his four saves with a diving effort to his left to keep momentum on the side of the Big Reds.
"PHS is a great team and you can't deny that," said South head coach Ed Ayers, who admitted his team went into a lull after Strobl's key save. "We have 11 seniors and I've got 18 juniors coming back.
"It looked like they wanted it a little more than we wanted it and they came at us hard. That's what happens."
Parkersburg took its 2-0 advantage into intermission and Powney tallied his goals in the 50th and 66th minutes. Powney's first tally came just a second into the 50th minute via a Logston assist. Rhodes was key on the fourth goal when he was able to get a pass to Bro, who found Powney for an easy score with 14:54 to play.
The Patriots had a pair of late chances to get rid of Strobl's shutout, but it didn't happen. Strobl snared a header from Franklin Miller and also turned back a Dillon Dowler shot just a few feet from the net. In the 80th minute, Rhodes was all alone and sent a laser just below the crossbar from 29 yards out for the final margin of victory.