On to the OVAC Finals: South girls blast John Marshall to set up chance at league title
PARKERSBURG — Parkersburg South junior Karleigh Dowler registered a first-half hat trick and tallied a career-high four goals here Wednesday night to help lead the host and top-seeded Patriots to an 8-0 triumph versus fourth-seeded John Marshall in an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 5A semifinal inside Erickson All-Sports Facility.
Ellie Foggin’s tally in the 14th minute via a Samara Nunn assist was the only goal the 9-0 Patriots of head coach Ron Bucholtz needed, but they got plenty more as PSHS now will take on No. 2 seed Steubenville at 3 p.m. Saturday at St. Clairsville High School.
A shot by Foggin in the 26th minute was saved by the hand of Monarch Jhett Corley, who was filling in for the injured Isabella Anderson, but Dowler was there for an easy rebound goal and a 2-0 cushion.
John Marshall, which dropped to 1-6 and lost to the Patriots 5-0 earlier in the season, failed to clear a ball in the 28th minute and Dowler struck again. Kyra Sandy assisted on Dowler’s final goal via a cross from the far side with 90 seconds left for the 4-0 halftime advantage.
“I’m really excited,” Dowler said of playing for an OVAC crown. “Can’t wait to get out there and whoop some butt. Most of them (goals) were unexpected and I didn’t know they were going in until I looked up and it was in the back (of the net).”
Mackenzie Mott, who played the final 21-plus minutes at keeper in relief of Kendal Mader, opened the second-half scoring with an unassisted goal in the 50th minute.
Just 36 seconds later a shot by Nunn hit the far right post and Dowler was there for the rebound and had an open net against keeper Faith Wachter, who finished with 10 saves while Corley had eight in the first half.
The Monarchs fell behind 7-0 in the 56th minute when Nunn scored and Ava Barton’s tally via a Foggin assist with 16:27 remaining set the final score.
“Obviously, Morgantown, University and Wheeling Park aren’t in the mix because of the coronavirus,” Bucholtz admitted. “That would’ve made it more challenging obviously. It’s one of these ones where we are doing great, 9-0, and haven’t conceded a goal.
“We’ve never started like that before. We know we haven’t played some of the stiff competition. We’ve never played them (Steubenville) before. I have no idea what to expect from that team. I’m pleased with the way we played.”
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