Steubenville and St. Clairsville have developed quite a rivalry over the past several years ... in boys' soccer.
Tuesday night was no different as the two talented squads met on the turf at Red Devil Stadium.
Big Red (3-2-1) tallied a late goal in each half to halt the Red Devils' unbeaten streak at six straight, 2-0.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S Merrick Malin (2) and Steubenville’s Bryan Brown battle for possession of the ball during Tuesday night’s boys’ soccer game at Red Devil Stadium. Big Red won, 2-0. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"We had opportunities and didn't cash in," St. Clairsville head coach Gary Watt explained. "They had some opportunities, and they cashed in. That was the big difference."
It didn't help that the Red Devils lost senior Jimmy Cash, their leading scorer, early on to a hip injury.
"Jimmy's been hurt for a couple of games now," Watt said. "He's probably going to be hurt for a couple more games, so someone has to step up."
Nobody did that last night, as far as scoring goes, as veteran Big Red goalkeeper John Paul Duff kept the Red Devils off the board. He made 13 saves for his fifth shutout of the campaign.
"Defense has never been a question mark for us," Big Red head coach Greg Bowers allowed. "John Paul had to make a couple of hard saves tonight, but I thought our defense in front of him did an outstanding job of limiting St. Clairsville's chances."
Each team threatened once before Steubenville got on the scoreboard in the 29th minute. Jorge Dominguez worked the ball downfield and slipped a pass to the middle of the field at the top of the box where the Big Reds' Brandon Llewellyn and St. Clairsville goalkeeper Izaac Wiley both charged for the ball, with Llewellyn just beating Wiley to it and nudging it into the wide-open net.
The Red Devils had at least four chances to score in the second half, but the Big Red defense and Duff were up to the challenge each and every time.
Dominic DiCarlo gave the visitors an insurance goal when he lasered the ball along the rug and past a diving Wiley in the 72nd minute.
"They (Big Red) have an experienced defense," Watt noted. "We had some opportunities, but they just shut us down. You've got to be able to finish, and we didn't do that tonight."
Duff finished with 13 saves, while Wiley denied 15.
St. Clairsville beat John Marshall 2-1 Monday night in Moundsville.
John Marshall jumped out early as Austin Litman scored on the first shot on goal from 20 yards out at the 10-minute mark. The rest of the half JM settled back on defense and crowded the box trying to prevent a St. clairsville response. It worked, and the Monarchs carried a 1-0 lead into the half.
Their stategy carried on into the second half, forcing the majority of St. Clairsville's shots to come from outside the 18-yard box.
But, in the 28th minute of the second half, Aaron Perkins sent a corner kick in front of the goal and Zach Oliver hit a one-timer past the keeper into the net to even the score.
Six minutes later, Jarret Helms found Oliver with a perfectly placed pass for an easy touch inside the near post for the go-ahead, and deciding, goal for the visitors.
Wiley recorded seven saves for the Red Devils.
St. Clairsville outshot John Marshall 26-7.