Parkersburg bests Huntington

Big Red girls take 5th in MSAC

Parkersburg High's Madison Spears (15) controls the ball while being chased by Huntington's Abby Bauer (6) during a girls soccer match Thursday night at Stadium Field. Spears had a goal and an assist as the host Big Reds won 3-1 in the MSAC fifth-place playoff game. Photo by Steve Hemmelgarn.

PARKERSBURG – Host Parkersburg High tied the match with 5:11 left in the first half, then carried that momentum over to the second half with two more goals in posting a 3-1 win over Huntington in the MSAC girls soccer fifth-place playoff game Thursday night at Stadium Field.

Junior co-captain Sarah McDonnell tallied twice and freshman Madison Spears netted a goal as PHS improved to 7-8-1 on the season with the Big Reds’ next game on Tuesday at Marietta.

The visiting Highlanders, though, lit up the scoreboard first just 6:13 into the contest on a Faith Worrell goal.

But PHS then had two missed opportunites on a leaping save right at the top corner of the net by Huntington goalie Jordan Maynard and a near-miss by McDonnell on a shot just wide of the net.

Eventually though, McDonnell scored unassisted at 5:11 of the first half to knot the score – stealing the ball in the box, then turning and shooting it in.

At 26:45 of the second half, the Big Reds went ahead for good at 2-1 when the speedy Spears booted it in over the goalie’s head into the back of the net. PHS keeper Sophie Thompson boomed a big punt downfield, getting the ball out to Spears, who motored downfield to get a key score for PHS on a successful shot from just outside the box.

Thompson was credited with an assist on Spears’ goal and on defense, she made five saves.

Goal No. 3 for an insurance score for the Big Reds came with just 2:16 to play on another McDonnell goal, with an assist from Spears.

“We weren’t really playing that well early on,” said PHS head coach Eric McCoy. “It took us a while to get going. And once we did, I was pretty confident the (tying) goal was going to come in the first half. I was real glad to see it.

“But once we started playing our game, we did a lot better. To play a tough team like them and be able to come away with a win was really good for us.”