ST. CLAIRSVILLE - If at first you don't succeed, try again.
And again. And again. And again.
''We had a ton of shots and maintained possession most of the match, but couldn't find the back of the net,'' St. Clairsville Head Coach Gary Watt said as darkness started to set in Tuesday evening at Red Devil Stadium.
ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S Jarret Helms prepares to send the ball towards the net Tuesday night against John Marshall at Red Devil Stadium. Additional images can be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
The Red Devils finally tickled the twine twice in the final 12 minutes and rallied past John Marshall, 2-1, in prep boys' soccer action.
''It's a simple game,'' Watt said. ''You have to score goals. It doesn't matter how many shots you take. If you can't put the ball in the back of the net, you're giving the other team some momentum and that's exactly what we did.''
Ty Boone's shot with 5:46 left proved to be the game-winner in what was a test of perseverence for both squads.
''He made a nice shot off that rebound,'' Watt said. ''I don't know of any goalie that would have been able to stop that one.''
After constantly pounding at the Monarchs' defense all evening, St. C. finally broke into the scoring column with 12:01 showing on the clock when Boone found Zach Rigby, who sent a rocket past JM netminder Collin Stipetich to knot the game at 1-1.
''We just kept applying constant pressure,'' Watt said.
That pressure was taking its toll on the Monarchs, a squad of 13 players.
''At one point we got tired and I think that's where they got us,'' JM Head Coach Jesus Marin said.
''They played a good game. They had several shots and our defense and our goalie did a great job.''
Austin Litman gave the Monarchs (0-3) an early 1-0 advantage when he sent a breakaway shot past St. C. netminder Izaac Wiley in the 10th minute of the first half.
The Red Devils (2-1) harassed Stipetich plenty early on. But shots either went left, right or hit the crossbar and bounced out.
JM bent, but didn't break and carried the lead into halftime.
''We were trying to play long ball in the first half,'' Watt pointed out. ''We were trying to kick the ball over everybody's head and it wasn't working. We had shots, but the shots weren't quality shots.
''The adjustment we made was to make shorter, quicker passes to set somebody up. That created better opportunities and that was really the difference.''
Thorp can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
J - Goal: Litman. Goalkeeper: Stipetich (7 saves).
S - Goals: Rigby, Boone. Assist: Boone. Goalkeepers: Wiley and Case (2 saves).