VINCENT – After a subpar performance in the first half, the Marietta girls soccer team controlled possession for the final 40 minutes.
Perhaps the gist of the halftime pep talk given by the Tiger coaching staff to their players should also be discussed during the game.
On Thursday evening at Warren High School, Marietta erased a one-goal halftime deficit and scored three unanswered goals in the final 40 minutes to defeat the Warriors 3-1.
“At halftime, all the coaches had a better idea of what we could do in the second half.” Marietta coach Bill Mannix after the Tigers improved to 4-1. “The girls realized they didn’t play to their standards in the first half. They decided that they would increase the pace considerably in the second half and that’s what they were able to do.”
Warren senior Payton Alloway tallied the lone goal of the first half after converting a pass from Sophie Cochran. Alloway had another close scoring opportunity when she was unable to convert a penalty shot saved by Marietta goalkeeper Leigha Lauer with 7:41 left in regulation to keep the game tied at 1.
The Warriors were unable to extend their winning streak to three and fell to 4-3.
“We played much better in the first half than in the second” Warren coach Andrew Pinkerton said. “I think we let our stress levels get too high and played too tight to be able to work the ball together like we usually do.
“If we had been able to convert the penalty, that would have been a big momentum changer for us, especially because we weren’t passing the ball very well. The goaltender did a great job picking the right angle on Payton’s shot. Payton scored our first goal, and will probably score close to 20 goals for the regular season. She will make up for it. She’s a strong girl.”
Marietta senior Katie Mannix got Marietta off on the right foot with the team’s first goal in the second half. At 30:14, he launched his shot from about 20 yards out to tie the game at 1.
Warren had his back to the net for most of the second half, and the Tigers finally took advantage for the second time when Izzy Riggs headed in a header off a missed shot, which originated from the shot from teammate Katelyn Schenkel at 6:31. on the clock
Unable to equalize, Warren allowed a third goal in the final minute. With a defender covered, Riley Medley dribbled to the goal line and sent a cross to Schenkel for a shot into the middle of the net at 38 seconds.
Schenkel suffered a torn ACL and meniscus 14 months ago. He wears protective tape during games, but said his rehab is complete. The mental part of the injury was the hardest part of the recovery process.
“Rehab was as much a mental battle as a physical battle,” Schenkel said. “In the back of my mind, I just wanted to be as good as I was. It’s a good feeling to know that you’re finally there after so much effort.
“It’s the best feeling in the world to be back. These girls are my family and it’s a great experience to be with them.”
On the other hand, Warren’s season has been full of injuries. Through seven games, six different players have been injured, including two members who could miss the rest of the season.
“We’ve basically had six different starting lineups this season, so the girls haven’t really had a chance to play together and play in the same formations,” said Pinkerton. “Tonight we were missing two starters. It’s one of those things, it changes the dynamic a little bit. It is what it is and we need the next person to step up. We fought a lot; we just put ourselves in more damaging situations late in the game.”
Contact Kerry Patrick at email@example.com