Warren wins on Strahler’s score with 7.5 seconds left

September 19, 2014
By Jordan Holland – Sports Writer (jholland@@mariettatimes.com) , Marietta Times

VINCENT – For 79 minutes and 52.5 seconds, neither Warren nor Athens could find the back of the net in a pivotal Southeastern Ohio Athletic League soccer match.

But with 7.5 seconds remaining on the clock, Warren freshman Zed Strahler out-ran Athens defenders to an Aaron Mazurkiewicz pass down the field and knocked it past the goalkeeper to give the Warriors a 1-0 victory.

“Pretty much, I just saw my opportunity,” Strahler said. “Coach tells us at practice to never give up and always go for it even if you don’t think you can make it. We just worked together as team and won the game.”

Warren senior Nate Robinson (8) goes on the attack as Athens’ Danny Pagan (9) pursues during SEOAL boys’ soccer action in Vincent Thursday night. The first-place Warriors won 1-0.

“(Strahler) was there and had a good finish,” said Warren coach Andrew Johnson. “I’m just glad he was there.

“In the last minute it’s helter skelter. There wasn’t a lot of possession. Aaron just won the ball, looked up and tried to slot him. I think their center back had stepped to take away one of our center mids and Zed just found the space.”

Athens head coach Isaac Thomas furiously contested that Strahler had gone offsides on the play, but the call was not made and Strahler took advantage by finishing the play with an accurate shot to the upper-right corner of the goal.

Warren 1, Athens 0

Athens (7-2-2) 0 0 – 0

Warren (9-1-1) 0 1 – 1

Scoring summary

First half


Second half

W – Zed Strahler goal, Aaron Mazurkiewicz assist, 79th minute

Team stats

Shots: A – 10, W – 15

Keeper saves: A – 8 (Sam Conrath-Sweeney), W – 5 (Heath Hutchinson)

Corner kicks: A – 4, W – 5

Next match: Warren at Jackson at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

“No,” replied Strahler when asked if he thought he was offsides. “I saw the defense push up because there was so little time. I stayed on the line and I knew where I was.”

Johnson added “Honestly, I think it was too close to tell. That’s a bang, bang play.”

The teams were mostly even in the first half as far as possession of the ball. Warren began breaking through and applying more pressure on the Bulldogs’ defense throughout the second half, but was unable to capitalize until the final seconds.

“If you look at the whole match it was pretty even,” Johnson said. “We’re pretty evenly-matched teams. We just got through. The work ethic was there. It’s just the bounce of soccer, you know what I mean? We both had chances and we finally finished one of our chances. That’s the only way you can really put it.”

Coming off a 6-3 loss to John Glenn in their last match, the Warriors were looking for a bounce-back win and got one. Prior to allowing six goals to Muskies, the Warren defense had surrendered just two goals all year.

Johnson admitted it was nice to see the Warren D get back on track.

“We had an off game against John Glenn,” Johnson said. “We’re trying to learn to play without Seth Hall, one of our really good players. Shut down defender, leader on and off the field and having him hurt we’ve moved kids around, out of position a little bit. We’re learning how to play through. It just takes time, you know?”

Warren keeper Heath Hutchinson racked up five saves en route to recording a clean sheet. His counterpart, Sam Conrath-Sweeney, saved eight Warren shots but could not stop Strahler’s kick in crunch time.

Nate Robinson, Warren’s leading scorer this season, came close a few times to giving Warren a first half lead. In the 17th minute, Robinson had an open look at the goal but Conrath-Sweeney made diving save on his shot to preserve the scoreless tie. Twice in the first half Robinson had shots roll just a inches wide of the goal and, in the 33rd minute, had one ricochet off the crossbar.

Seven minutes into the second half Robinson took a shot that went between Conrath-Sweeney’s legs but the Athens keeper recovered in time to prevent the ball from going through.

However, it was the shot that did go through in the final seconds that will be talked about by Warren and Athens fans alike.

For Athens (7-2-2), the loss was its second in the league as it fell further behind in the SEOAL standings. Warren (9-1-1) remained undefeated in the league with the win and will visit second-place Jackson Tuesday.

League-leading Warriors blank Chiefs in SEOAL soccer

By CRAIG DUNN Sports Editor cdunn@logandaily.com | Posted 9 hours ago

LOGAN — There are good reasons as to why the Warren Warriors blanked the Logan Chieftains 5-0 in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League soccer match Thursday night in Logan Chieftain Stadium.

“They’ve won the league the last two years and have nine starters returning. They’re a veteran team,” said Logan coach Ian Riddlebarger, whose Chieftain lineup consists of several freshmen and sophomores. “They have some younger guys mixed in there, but I know we’re young. I realize that.”

Plainly stated, the Warriors are good. Very good.

Warren scored less than three minutes into the match to take the lead and never looked back to maintain a slim hold on the SEOAL lead at the season’s midway point.

The Warriors (8-0-1 overall) finished the first round of league play 4-0-1, with Jackson (4-1) and Athens (3-1-1) hot on their heels. Warren and Athens played to a scoreless tie to account for the lone blemish on the Warriors’ record.

Still, Warren coach Andrew Johnson credited the Chiefs (2-3-2, 0-3-2) for playing well and making his team work for much of what it got.

“They gave us a ton of pressure in the middle and made us work for everything,” Johnson said. “They really got us out of rhythm on possession. We love playing possession — and their work rate and high intensity really bothered us. I was very frustrated with how my team played.”

However, the Warriors dominated most of the key elements of the game. They out-shot the Chiefs 17-2 — Logan did not get a shot in the second half — and took six corner kicks to two for the Chiefs.

They took the lead with 37:25 left in the first half when, after the Chiefs failed to clear the ball out of their penalty area, freshman Zed Strahler got it under control and put it over Logan goalkeeper Isaac Gwinn’s head and into the back of the net.

Logan got both of its shots in the first half but only forced Warren keeper Heath Hutchinson to make one save.

Both coaches, however, liked how the Chiefs played.

“They’re a young team,” Johnson said of the Chiefs. “We got lucky and got some finishes, and we got some breaks to go our way. That’s how soccer goes. We can beat them 5-0 tonight and turn around and tie them 1-1 next game.

“With their intensity, they’re going to give a lot of teams problems,” he added. “They gave us problems. I was happy to get the win.”

“I thought our guys did really well the first half,” Riddlebarger said. “I thought we were a little unfortunate. (On the first Warren goal), when you clear a ball, you have to put it up and away and put it out of the danger area.

“We work on passing the ball and not just kicking it,” he added, “but there’s a time and place to (just) kick it (away). We were doing what I wanted us to do for the most part. As I told the kids, we were even playing fairly well going forward out of the back — which we’ve struggled with greatly — but it’s (getting to) that final level and we couldn’t put it together there.”

Logan was indeed unfortunate on Warren’s second goal.

With 9:27 left in the half, senior Jake Riffle — who would score two second-half goals — drilled a shot in the left side of the penalty area that a Logan defender misplayed into the Logan net for an own goal.

“Sometimes in this game you have to put balls in dangerous areas,” Riddlebarger said. “On that second goal, I told (the Logan defender) that every great defender has had an own goal or two in his career. It’s unfortunate, but it happens sometimes.

The Warriors “were putting balls in dangerous areas and forcing us to make plays,” he added, “and that’s what comes out of it sometimes. We have to a little better job getting to that point (and) getting that final level.”

With the halftime score 2-0, the Chiefs knew they still had a chance — and the Warriors knew they were one goal away from probably breaking things open.

It was the Warriors who came through.

Just 3:01 into the second half, Gwinn saved a Warren shot but Riffle gained control to the keeper’s left, beat a defender and sent a crossing shot into the net for an insurmountable 3-0 lead.

“We came out and gave up that early goal,” Riddlebarger said, “then, at two-nil, (if) you get that (next) goal you can swing momentum on your side. But, unfortunately, we gave up that third goal.”

Koch then made it 4-0 with 15:07 remaining when he pounced on a loose ball in the left side of the penalty area and scored.

The Warriors got their fifth and final counter with 9:43 remaining on a Nate Robinson penalty kick after Gwinn was called for a foul in the penalty box.

“We have some good upperclassmen,” Johnson praised. “We only lost two players from last year, and (the Chiefs) lost what, 16? So they’re rebuilding and we’re supposed to win.

“They competed and you can’t take anything away from them,” he added of the Chiefs. “The score might say 5-0, but they competed hard.”

Warren hosts Athens in a big SEOAL match next Thursday to open the second round of conference play.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs reach the halfway point of their season schedule Saturday evening when they travel to Philo for a non-league game before returning home for an SEOAL clash with Jackson next Thursday and a non-conference tilt against Piketon next Saturday afternoon.

“We’ve done some good things the last couple games and hopefully we can keep doing them and building on that and get some good results,” Riddlebarger said. “There are some opportunities in these coming games. If we can get a couple wins on our side… you never know what can happen.”

Around the SEOAL: Athens held off Alexander 3-2 and Jackson downed Gallipolis 4-1 in Thursday’s other conference matches.

SEOAL records midway through the league season are Warren 4-0-1, Jackson 4-1, Athens 3-1-1, Alexander 1-3-1, Logan 0-3-2 and Gallipolis 0-4-1.

Warren tags Spartans, 5-1

By Lou Horvath Messenger Contributor

ALBANY — In a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League matchup in Albany on Tuesday, the Alexander Spartans, stinging with two losses in their last two games, played host to the Warriors of Warren who arrived in town having only surrendered one goal all season.
This had the appearances of a setup with little drama. But the night held surprises and more bar experiences than a second year law intern might have in Warren’s 5-1 win.

Flush with upper classmen and experience, the Warriors set to work immediately after taking the first touch to start the game. Passing the ball with little contention, they blasted the left side of the pitch continually with Ben Koch initiating the movement. His targets were a trio of attackers, Nate Robinson, Zed Strahler and Michael O’Callaghan.

The Spartan defensive crew of Steven Ervin, Nathan Goss and Nathan Boudinot were under constant duress but manage to deflect the early onslaught though under fire in doing so. Each of the three Warriors clanged shots off the crossbar in the early stages of the match, which helped Alexander netminder Aric Russell keep the visitors off the board.
The match settled into a calmer affair after the first 10 minutes. “I wanted to see zeroes on the score at the ten minute mark, knowing that we would settle down and get into our rhythm,” Alexander coach Kirk Crow observed. “Then I began to see more energy from our guys and they got back into getting more possession and control.”
With the crossbar presenting both a boon and a bane for the hosts, the game remained a flurry of activity. As the first half wound down, Robinson established his neighborhood in front of the Spartan goal. Taking a cross from Strahler, he collected the ball and executed a perfect bicycle kick into the strings to break the deadlock.

It was the post that bedeviled Alexander again with a tick over a minute remaining. Strahler launched a dinger from 30 yards out that hit the bar then ricocheted to the far post and into the webbing for the second tally of the night. “That was a tough break to have happen just before the half. We were holding them and then got burned by a long range attempt that hit just wrong for us,” Crow reflected.
But the Spartans came back with renewed purpose in the second half. They managed to step up the defensive performance and then changed the complexion of the night a quarter of the way into the second stanza.

From the midfield, Tribe won a 50-50 ball and pushed it up to an open Quentin Brady on the wing. Brady found Kyle Howard flashing in from the midfield through the center of the Warrior defense. Taking the pass in stride, Howard was past the defense and beat goalie Heath Hutchinson with a sweet shot that halved the lead 2-1. Having given up only the second goal of the season, the Warriors’ signature calm was momentarily disrupted.

The Spartans’ energy and confidence spiked and they began to sustain more offensive possession. Regaining composure, the Warriors held off the hungry Spartans, though the play was not dominated by either team.

A defensive miscommunication with 15 to go changed the game once again. Jake Riffle was battling with Boudinot on a run to the goal. Riffle gained about a step when Russell came off his line to challenge the run. A collision left the Spartan goal wide open and the Warrior sub touched the ball in for a critical
True to form, Crow used almost all his bench in the last portion of the half and the reserves performed well. Warrior coach Andrew Johnson maintained his attack throughout the half with his starters. Robinson tallied twice in the last minutes of the match, the second of which was from a perfectly placed thirty five yard cross from Koch.

“I thought we played pretty well for 65 minutes,” Crow said. “We were solid in our defense and passing. And, on a nice combination, we created only the second goal they’ve given up all season. Now we prepare for Athens.”

The Spartans will host the Athens Bulldogs in the cross-county and SEOAL rivalry on Thursday. The Lady Spartans will open the evening against the Bulldogs with first touch at 5:30 p.m.

Alexander 0 1 1

Warren 2 3 5

Warren Robinson 1st 05:43 0-1

Warren Strahler 1st 01:33 0-2

Alex Howard (Brady) 2nd 28:01 1-2

Warren Riffle 2nd 15:27 1-3

Warren Robinson 2nd 07:08 1-4

Warren Robinson 2nd 04:01 1-5

Saves Alex Russell 3

Warren Hutchinson 1

Spartan junior midfielder Alex Tribe nearly tapped into the scoring column shortly after the ten-minute firestorm. His free kick from outside the box just skimmed the top of the crossbar quelling the Spartans’ first scoring opportunity.

OHSAA Mandatory Player/Parent Fall 2014 Sports Meeting

Warren will be holding its Fall parent-student athlete meeting on August 7th at 7:00pm in the Warren HS gym.

This is an OHSAA mandatory meeting.

The athletic handbook will be reviewed.

There is a new OHSAA requirement that requires parents/players to watch a  video that covers topics such as eligibility and sportsmanship. If you don’t make this meeting you will have to meet with Debbie Proctor (athletic director)  to watch the video BEFORE your son can play. If you don’t meet this requirement, your son will not play.

Team meetings will be held right after the OHSAA portion of the evening.

For more information contact Debbie Proctor 678-2393

All SEOAL 2013

On the pitch this fall, the Warren boys and girls were a combined 29-5-3, with the boys’ season still going, and both squads finished atop the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League. So when the All-SEOAL soccer teams were announced, Warriors popped up everywhere, and deservedly so.

The all-league teams were headlined by Alex Miller, who was the Player of the Year on the boys side, and Raeli Barnes, the girls Player of the Year.

Miller has been the star of a loaded Warren boys team all season long. His most recent feat came Saturday in Lucasville, as the Warrior senior recorded the game-winning goal in overtime over Marietta to give Warren a Division II Southeast District title, its third in as many years. The goal was Miller’s team-leading 39th of the season. Miller also had big games against Alexander, Parkersburg South and Northwest, scoring four goals in each contest.

2013 All-Southeastern Ohio Athletic League

Boys soccer

First team: Josaiah Beha, Chris Wingett, Alexander; Evan Berryman, Victor Davis, Dustin Goetz, Athens; Sammy Hemphill, Tyler Stewart, Winston Wade, Gallia Academy; Evan Crabtree, Chandler Fout, Bryon Lord, Jackson, Dylan Wyant, Jackson; Mitchell Clark, Caleb Stallsmith, Cody Wilson, Logan; Wyatt Lynch, Aaron Mazurkiewicz, Alex Miller, Nathan Robinson, Warren

Player of the Year: Alex Miller, Warren

Coach of the Year: Andrew Johnson, Warren

Honorable mention: Kyle Howard, Aric Russell, Alexander; Finn Kola, Kir Megert, Athens; Chayse Casto, John Michael Roberts, Gallia Academy; Brandon Ghearing, Cody Heft, Jackson; Caleb Heck, Zach Williams, Logan; Ben Koch, Seth Hall, Warren


Girls soccer

First team: Marilyn Rankin, Kaylyn Sigman, Alexander; Rachel Broughton, Elli Broy, Emily Fischer, Robin Wood, Athens; Parker Davis, Katie Exline, Jackson, Brooke Hughes, Peyton Miller, Jackson; Morgan Robinette, Nicole Wilcox, Logan; Raeli Barnes, Warren, Raelyn Gardner, Marissa O’Callaghan, Natalie O’Dell, Warren

Player of the Year: Raeli Barnes, Warren

Coach of the year: Ekrem Eksi, Warren

Honorable mention: Breanna Ashley, Chandra Wilson, Alexander; Ingrid Buckley, Kate Moulton, Athens; Carly Polcyn, Abby Van Allen, Jackson; Krissy Eads, Kaylee Meadows, Logan; Laura Eksi, Halee McPherson, Warren


Boys Soccer Banquet

End of season banquet will be held for Boys on November 24th at 6pm in HS cafeteria. Time to celebrate winning another District championship. 3 in a row!!!
Great job team and coaches!!

Seniors – Side dish or salad + 2L pop
Juniors- Dessert + 2L pop
Sophomores- Side dish or salad + 2L pop
Freshman- Appetizers or side dish + 2L pop

Main course will be provided.