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Red Devil girls hoping third time a charm

ST. CLAIRSVILLE’S Megan Malin chases the ball as East Liverpool’s Abbey DeLong (9) defends Tuesday night. Malin scored two goals in the Red Devils’ 5-0 victory.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — “The third time is a charm” and “Home sweet home” are a pair of old sports adages that the St. Clairsville girls’ soccer team is hoping come true Saturday.

The top-seeded Red Devils (8-1-1) continued their storybook season Tuesday night by dispatching fourth-seeded East Liverpool, 5-0, in an Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Class 4 semifinal match on the artificial surface at Red Devil Stadium. With their second win over the Potters (4-3-1) this season, the Red Devils punched their third straight championship-game ticket.

However, the difference between the last two seasons is St. Clairsville will be playing this championship match at the friendly confines of Red Devil Stadium instead of Wheeling Island Stadium where they have lost to Oak Glen. The second-seeded Golden Bears meet No. 3 Indian Creek Thursday at 5 p.m. in New Manchester to see whom the Red Devils will meet at noon.

“It doesn’t matter who it (our opponent) is. It is what it is. It’s a championship game regardless of who it is,” St. Clairsville head coach Wes Stoner said. “It’s going to be a tough game either way.”

When asked if his squad might be rooting a little for Oak Glen, Stoner replied, “They will play whoever it is. I don’t think they will be rooting for either team, but they would definitely like to play Oak Glen. They just like playing good teams and that is what Oak Glen and Indian Creek are. We played Indian Creek in a close game at their place earlier this season, so whoever our opponent turns out to be, it won’t be an easy game.”

Mikayla Hendershot and Megan Malin each scored a pair of goals while Alyssa Bodkin added a goal and an assist.

Goalkeeper Jaeda Nowak recorded her school-record 32nd career shutout with four saves. However, she was never seriously tested.

“Jaeda really didn’t have much to do tonight,” Stoner noted. “It’s been that way for much of her career because of the defense in front of her.

“We played well defensively tonight. We knew No. 6 (Kya Kavanagh) was a scoring threat coming in so we just knew where she was at all times,” he continued. “We knew what was coming and we game-planned for it.”

East Liverpool goalkeeper Alessandra Ferrazzano injured a knee late in the contest and had to be helped from the field.

St. Clairsville continues to play without the services of senior standout Macy Malin who is sidelined following knee surgery to repair a torn ACL and meniscus. Junior Emily Thompson made her return after being injured early in the season.

The win was the 43rd career win for the St. Clairsville seniors. They’r hoping No. 44 is a special one.

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