PHS, Jefferson tie 1-1

Big Reds still one win away from 500th all-time

Photo by Josh Hughes Parkersburg’s Jamie Couch drives the ball up the field with Jefferson’s Nick Moore in hot pursuit during Friday’s season-opening draw at the Erickson All-Sports Facility.

PARKERSBURG –The Parkersburg Big Reds boys’ soccer season kicked off on a cool Friday night, as a 1-1 tie against Jefferson set the bar for a season ripe with expectations.

The contest, however, wasn’t played at PHS’s Stadium Field. It was actually contested at rival Parkersburg South’s Erickson All-Sports Facility due to the track not being installed yet.

Despite the nature of this being the first match of the year for the Big Reds, it still carried significance as a potential 500th win in program history for coach Don Fosselman’s boys. Even though they could not secure the win, Fosselman was proud of his team’s fight. It took an equalizer from Tanner Stauffer off a cross feed from Ashton Farnsworth to tie it up in the 51st minute.

“I am so proud of the way you guys played tonight,” Fosselman said to his team after it was all over. “If we play like that against other teams, we’re going to be a force to be reckoned within the state of West Virginia.”

The Cougars drew first blood in the 10th minute on a made penalty kick in the bottom-right corner from Brennan King. The penalty came after he was tripped by a Parkersburg defender in plain sight of the officials. Jefferson rode that momentum all the way to the break, as the Big Reds could not sustain a successful enough possession to tie it up. That was when their defense stepped up and didn’t allow anything else. A long free kick from Justin DeMoulin found Thomas’s waiting arms with just a couple minutes left in the first half, as the Big Reds held strong.

Although Thomas had to contend with only six shots on goal, he cleared out the ball with ease and limited any further scoring opportunities for the Cougars.

“I think Caleb Thomas is one of the best goalies in the state,” Fosselman said.

“He’s quick. He’s really quick. Caleb’s a naturally good leader as well.”

Thomas had to be that kind of leader in the second half, as the Cougars threatened in PHS’s zone after giving up the tying goal to Stauffer. Fosselman later said he was “proud of how the team fought through adversity” as a result of that. While the tie wasn’t what the Big Reds were looking for, they have another shot at history coming up soon. George Washington is next on the docket for the red and white, and that game will be played at 6 p.m. on the campus of Ohio Valley University. Fosselman’s expectations are high, and a young season means anything is possible.

“I’m so proud of our boys,” Fosselman said. “They played so well. To come back from down 1-0 to a very good team…it was good stuff.”

That date with GW awaits, as the PHS boys hope for more good to happen and a win to put in the win column.

Contact Josh Hughes at jhughes@newsandsentinel.com.

at Erickson All-Sports Facility

Parkersburg boys 1, Jefferson 1

JHS (0-0-1) 1 0 — 1

PHS (0-0-1) 0 1 — 1

J: Brennan King (penalty kick), 10th minute

P: Tanner Stauffer, assist Ashton Farnsworth, 51st minute

Shots on goal: P 4, J 6; Keeper saves: P (Caleb Thomas) 10, J (Ethan Harner) 7, Corner kicks: P 4, J 2

Next match: George Washington vs. Parkersburg at Ohio Valley University 6 p.m. Tuesday.