Big Reds fall to unbeaten University

Parkersburg goalie Jacob McKnight scans the field at PHS Stadium Field one last time during the Big Reds’ Senior Night Thursday. Photo by Steve Hemmelgarn

PARKERSBURG — “I’m proud of our guys; they played very, very well.”

You wouldn’t know it, but that quote came from Parkersburg High head boys soccer coach Don Fosselman after his team dropped a 5-1 decision to unbeaten University Thursday night at Stadium Field on senior night.

That’s because the Big Red booters did just that up against the visiting Hawks, now 17-0-1 on the season, who burst out to a 2-0 lead by the 14th minute of play and never looked back.

But PHS cut that 2-0 gap in half at 24:09 on the first-half clock when Ashton Farnsworth descended from the left wing on goal, then booted the ball over to Isaiah Owen, who knocked it in the net.

Not long after that, University tacked on a third goal on a header at 21:54 for a 3-1 advantage at halftime.

However, the Big Reds had a golden opportunity on a penalty kick by Hank Hines from the 6-yard line right in front of the goal just eight minutes into the second half, but weren’t able to score. “You know what, we hit that PK and make it 3-2, you never know what’ll happen,” said Fosselman.

The Hawks went on from that to tally two more times, with 27:42 left followed quickly by Joseph Biafora at 26:31.

“They (University) have two very special players, (Mason) Shockley and Biafora, the two best players in the state,” said Fosselman. “I’ve seen a lot of good players, but those guys are excellent. They did a great job tonight.

“But don’t let 5-1 fool you, we played good soccer tonight. You take away some things that happened here and things that happened there, I’m very proud of my team; I have nothing negative to play.”

Fosselman added goalie Jacob McKnight “was brilliant; I’ve never seen him better” of his senior, who made 14 saves all over the place to keep the Big Reds, now 11-7-2, in the game.