ST. CLAIRSVILLE - St. Clairsville has an established boys' soccer program.
Harrison Central is playing its first full season of varsity action.
The difference showed Monday night under the lights as the hosts rolled to a 7-0 whitewashing of the Huskies on the artificial surface at Red Devil Stadium.
St. Clairsville’s Taylor Wissman (22) and Harrison Central’s Conner Pecar battle for possession of the ball during Monday night’s game at Red Devil Stadium. The Red Devils won, 7-0. Additional images may be found at cu.timesleaderonline.com
"We weren't taking them lightly because they've beaten a couple of teams," St. Clairsville head coach Gary Watt assessed. "At this point in the season, we're just taking one game at a time."
With the victory, the Red Devils improved to 7-2-1 and will host Weir Wednesday, one day before the OVAC Cup cut-off date. St. Clairsville entered last night's game a close second to Steubenville in the 4A race.
"We came out focused tonight," Watt added. "We had the intention to move the ball and put a lot of pressure on. I thought we did a good job in the 50-50s. I was proud of that."
Three different Red Devils tallied two goals each, as junior Zach Oliver got the first two net-finders of the game. Seniors Taylor Wissmann and Ty Boone also found the back of the cage twice.
The Huskies actually had the first shot on goal as sophomore Conner Pecar sent a drive to the net in the fourth minute that forced Red Devils' goalkeeper Izaac Wiley to make a diving stop.
However, it was all St. Clairsville after that.
Boone dribbled the ball up the left side before sending a beautiful cross to Oliver in the middle of the field. Oliver one-timed the pass with his right foot and it eluded Huskies' keeper Tyler Starr, who, despite the loss, played well in net at the 11:06 mark.
After the Huskies' Jonah Rodgers just missed the net, the hosts didn't as Oliver took a nifty feed from Wissmann and outran the defenders before slamming the ball just inside the left post for a 2-0 reading at 18:48.
Freshman Jordan Vincent etched his name in scoring column when he sent a left-footed laser just past the left post and by the diving Starr for a 3-0 count at the half.
Wissmann made it 4-0 early in the second half, and then bumped the margin to 5-0 with a penalty kick that deflected off of Starr and into the cage.
Boone capped the scoring with his two-goal outburst on back-to-back shots on goal. Jarret Helms assisted on the first goal, with Vincent sending a nice cross to Boone for a header for his helper.
Harrison Central had a couple of good chances in the second half, but Wiley was up to the challenge of Pecar on a breakaway. Not only did the Red Devils' senior keeper deny the first shot, he also kept the rebound out of the net.
"I'm proud of my team even though we lost," Harrison Central head coach Eric Sheets allowed. "We're a first-year program and they've been around for a while.
"We're getting better and better with every game, even though the scoreboard didn't reflect that tonight," he added. "We had our chances, we just couldn't finish."
Wiley finished with six saves, while Devan Case combined on the shutout. He replaced Wiley at the 27:10 mark of the second half.
"Izaac kept the shutout intact when he was in there," Watt noted. "He made a couple of huge saves. Devan has to be able to play against varsity competition. He's going to be a good one. He's our future."
Harrison Central hosts Beaver Local today at 5:30 p.m. in Scio.