First-half spark carries Warren girls

VINCENT – The Warren Warriors scored three first half goals, all coming off the foot of Raeli Barnes as they rolled to a 6-2 South Eastern Ohio Athletic Conference victory over the Alexander Spartans Thursday night at Warren High School.

Barnes collected an unassisted goal in the game’s first five minutes to give the Warriors an early 1-0 lead.

It was obvious from the start that the upstart Spartans were no match for the experienced Warriors as Warren kept the ball on the offensive side of the pitch for almost the entire opening half.

Warren keeper Rachel Grogg had a rather uneventful first half as Alexander fired just two shots on goal with neither shot coming close to a Spartan goal.

While the shots on goal were few and far between for the Spartans, they came a lot more freely for the royal blue and white as Warren got off some 17 attempts at the net in the opening period alone.

Barnes narrowly missed a goal in the 22nd minute when her shot sailed just over the net, while Raelyn Gardner’s look with 11 minutes to play in the half on a nifty assist from Barnes was wide left. Barnes notched her second goal of the game with help from Natalie O’Dell seconds later, and then added her third with just over 16 seconds to play in the half on an assist from Gardner.

“She is a very skillful player,” said Warren head coach Ekrem Eski of Barnes. “When she is up against a team that is not that strong, it is easy for her to go to goal.”

While the Warriors did much of their damage in the latter minutes of the opening half, they opened with a bang in the second half to blow things wide open. With just over two minutes gone in the second half, O’Dell broke free on the right side and put the ball past Alexander goalie Danielle Adelsburger to give Warren a 4-0 lead.

Emma Yabs made it a 5-0 game when she converted a penalty kick with 33:11 to play enabling Eski to empty his bench and give his starters a rest early in the second half.

Newark 2, Marietta 1

DEVOLA – Marietta High got a solid performance between the pipes from Shae Hutchison.

But Newark’s attack was relentless, and in the second half, the Wildcat booters were able to rally to defeat the Tigers 2-1 in a non-conference match at the Devola Soccer Complex Thursday night.

“I did my best,” said Hutchison, who was making her first varsity start at keeper.

Hutchison, a sophomore, was filling in for injured starter Nora Gulick. She finished with 10 saves in the contest.

“Shae did a good job,” said MHS head coach Jeff Price, whose Tigers fell to 2-7 on the season. “She tracked the ball well.”

Marietta’s goal was scored by Audrey May in the 15th minute of play. Mo Robinson was credited with an assist on the net-bender.

“Audrey has about three or four goals for us this season,” Price said. “Overall as a team, I thought we passed better against Coshocton than we did tonight.”

Newark (3-6) outshot Marietta 14-2, and got goals from Meghan Roche and Rachel Billman. The Wildcats also hit the crossbar three times during the match.

“Newark doesn’t have a very good record, but they’re not a bad team,” Price said. “They play a lot of schools, like Pickerington North and teams like that in the Columbus area.”

Amanda Smith and Mileena Bricker shared the Newark goalkeeping duties.

The Tigers led 1-0 at the break.

“At halftime, we were searching for what it takes when the chips were down,” said Newark coach Vance Bennett. “I mean, you either want it or you don’t.”

Newark got the equalizer in the 54th minute when Roche’s shot deflected off an MHS player and into the goal.

With 2:58 remaining in the game, Billman drilled a bullet that Hutchison never had a chance to stop to make it 2-1.