Blue Eagle Booters Take Care Of Business
The Magnolia Blue Eagle’s Co-Ed Soccer Team scored two goals in the first half and two more in the second half to beat Monroe Central 4-3 Sept. 23 at the Hydro Field in New Martinsville.
To start the game, it was announced that the Eagles qualified for the OVAC Soccer Cup scheduled for Sept. 27 against Wheeling Park. After the introductions of players, the game started and Magnolia went right to work, pounding shot after shot, but all the shots were either too high or too wide. Only an Ethan Arman shot found its way between the goal posts for a ‘Nole save.
Finally, after about 12 Magnolia shots, Michael “Dink” Jones made a challenge from midfield on a breakaway. However, his shot hit the top of the crossbar and bounced straight down and trickled out of play.
After another Eagle challenge that found nothing but the wind, Saris “Just” Kongpichetkel took a pass from midfield and challenged three Seminole defenders with a shot from 18 yards out. The shot ripped a hole in the back of the net for the game’s first goal.
Shortly after the goal, Jones laid out a nice pass for senior striker Isaac Howell, but his shot caught a ‘Nole defender’s leg and bounced out of harm’s way. At this point, the Eagles had a dozen shots at goal, with only two being recorded as a save. Meanwhile, the Seminoles didn’t have an attempt at the Magnolia keeper, 6’4″ Mike Winters.
However, Monroe Central took umbrage at the superior Blue Eagle play and set out to make some noise. After five straight unsuccessful shots at Winters, he made an possible and implausible save with his lengthy frame, tipping the shot up in the air and then swatting it out of the way.
Magnolia challenged the ‘Noles once more and Jones lofted a beauty from 30 yards out that just dropped in for the Eagles’ second goal of the game. The Eagles scored shortly afterward, but it was nullified by an offsides infraction by the Blue and Gold. A few minutes after that series, Howell had a direct kick on a spot foul by Monroe Central and blasted it right at the ‘Nole keeper.
After a few more Magnolia challenges that came up empty, Jones juked and jived his way until he was a few feet away and knocked it home for a 3-0 Magnolia advantage in the second period.
Monroe Central buckled down and worked its way to the Eagles’ 18 when Magnolia was called for a foul that gave the visitors a clear path to the net. They got it on a direct kick that they knocked in over the head of new Blue Eagle keeper, Eric Piekarski. That narrowed the gap to a 3-1, advantage Magnolia.
Monroe pounded the Eagles with everything but the kitchen sink during the next 10 minutes with five shots on goal. Once again Central’s offense was on the prowl. But, 10 on five didn’t work out too well and the visitors scored once again to pull to within one at 3-2 with about eight minutes of match time remaining.
The ‘Noles had a direct kick go out of harm’s way when Eagle sweeper Seth Blake kicked it out of the way with a nice non-goalie save.
Magnolia challenged the ‘Noles once again and a defender was penalized for a handball about 18 yards away. Kongpichetkel took the kick and curved it in for a beautiful goal and a 4-2 Magnolia advantage.
Magnolia challenged once more a few moments later when Kongpichetkel’s corner kick met Chase ‘Wiz’ Cain’s head and bounced off the goal posts.
Monroe Central scored with a couple minutes remaining, while Piekarski made several nice saves to preserve the 4-3 Magnolia. The Eagles earned a spot in the top eight OVAC schools and will take on either Steubenville or Wheeling Park this week in the OVAC Cup. If Magnolia wins, they will play semifinals at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Wheeling Island stadium.