VINCENT - The Warren Warriors and Parkersburg Big Reds played to a hard fought, 2-2 tie Tuesday evening in a non-conference battle on the pitch at Warren High School.
After a scoreless first half, both teams took turns rallying from behind before time ran out forcing the draw.
"It was just a very even, well-fought game," said Warrior head coach Andrew Johnson. "I think it could have gone either way."
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Tyler Broadwater, left, battles Warren's Eli Duff for the ball Monday. Duff had two goals as the teams finished in a 2-2 tie.
Both teams had opportunities in the first half to get on the board but came up empty.
The Big Reds (6-1-2) had a couple of good looks around the mid-point of the first half when a shot by Evan Rhodes hit the top of the goal post and a header by Tyler Miller was saved by Warren keeper Cody Stanley.
With under two minutes to play in the half, Rhodes had a couple of more good looks at the goal, but once again Stanley was up to the task and both teams went to intermission in a scoreless tie.
Parkersburg got off 10 first half shots on goal while the Warriors (3-1-2) took six.
It would take the Big Reds just six minutes into the second half to break the tie on a wild play that saw four shots at the goal before Garrett Kruger finally connected from the right side.
Sophomore Hunter Hill got the play started when his shot from the left side bounced off the goal post and right back to him.
Hill fired again but the ball was deflected by Stanley directly to Kruger who squeezed the ball in between Stanley and the goal.
"Our guys just stayed with it on that goal," said Parkersburg head coach Don Fosselman. "The ball just happened to come to his (Kruger's) foot and he put it in."
Seconds after the Big Red goal, the Warriors were dealt a big blow when they lost standout Nick Koch for the rest of the game with an injury.
Despite Koch being on the sidelines, Warren wasted no time evening things back up.
Seth Hall intercepted a Parkersburg kick near mid field and got the ball ahead to Eli Duff who drilled the ball between PHS keeper Reid Strobl and the right goal post to tie things up at 1 with just over 33 minutes to go.
Duff was at it again with 26 minutes to go as he scored his second goal in less than 10 minutes with an assist from Nathan Robinson to give Warren its first lead of the game.
"When Nick (Koch) went down, people knew they were going to have to step up," said Johnson. "Duff came in off of the bench and with those two goals he definitely gave us a huge boost."
For the first time in the game, PHS would be forced to come from behind and it did just that when junior Nick Payne found the back of the goal with help from Kruger to tie the game at 2 at the 57th minute.
Both keepers then rose to the occasion and held their opponents in check the rest of the way.
Stanley totaled 12 keeper saves in the game for Warren, while Strobl had six saves for PHS.
Both coaches were pleased with the play of their teams despite the tie.
"We got off a few more shots on goal but their keeper did a nice job," said Fosselman. "We put a few off the posts, but I'm pretty pleased with what the kids did."
Johnson felt that playing even with a team the caliber of Parkersburg would be a boost to his team's confidence.
"These kids definitely play to win all the time," said Johnson of his Warrior squad. "It's great to know that we just played the best team in the area and tied them 2-2."