Tigers’ ladies blank Big Reds
DEVOLA — Courtney Schuck was the difference at the offensive end of the pitch.
The talented junior midfielder scored two first-half goals to lead Marietta High to 2-0 triumph over Parkersburg High Thursday night in girls’ soccer action at Jerry Brock Field.
“I had lots of good looks,” Schuck said. “My teammates hit me perfectly right on those balls.
“We’ve been working on passing more and trying building up and down the field. Our team is doing really good.”
Maria Pfaff got an assist on Schuck’s first goal, and Payton Mullen assisted on the second one.
“It definitely helps to have a player like Courtney,” said MHS head coach Jeff Price. “But the nice thing is we have good players all over the field.”
Sophomore keeper Jocelyn Rings, who finished with three saves, was credited with a clean sheet, and was helped by defenders like Sam Zumwalde, Katie Mannix, Kristen Pfaff, and Mullen.
“Kristen stepped in for (injured) Gretchen (Lankford) and did a really good job,” Price said. “The girls played hard, and it was a physical game.”
Undefeated Marietta improved its record to 6-0 while PHS fell to 2-3-1.
“It was a pretty even game,” said second-year Big Reds boss Brad Morris. “We had a couple of transition periods where we didn’t get back on defense fast enough. And number 23 (Schuck) just outhustled us to the ball both times and she finished.
“We created our own chances, but we really couldn’t get a good quality one.”
PHS sophomore keeper Isabel Lynch was credited with six saves.
Schuck snapped a 0-0 deadlock in the 22nd minute when she collected a Pfaff pass on the left flank, outran PHS freshman defender Lauren McDonnell, and beat Lynch with a hard, angled shot.
“I was familiar with the keeper, so I kind of knew what she was going to do,” Schuck said. “I just knew that if I dribbled in and hit it low, she would probably miss it.”
With 9:37 remaining in the opening 40 minutes, Schuck accelerated on the left flank again, and drilled another shot that eluded Lynch, making it 2-0, also the halftime score.
Second-half action was end to end with both school’s defenses playing solid soccer. And, as a result, there was no scoring or even close calls.
“2-0 is the worst lead in soccer,” Morris said. “I’ve seen it dwindle really, really quick. If you can get one on the board, the momentum swings really fast.”
Ron Johnston can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org