Steubenville Central defeats Maroon Knights

STEUBENVILLE – Offense was certainly lacking.

The Catholic Central and Wheeling Central girls’ soccer teams combined to take four shots in the first half of their match Wednesday on the Tony Recinella Soccer Field.

The Maroon Knights ended up outshooting the Crusaders, 15-4, but in the end Catholic Central took advantage of a golden opportunity to score a goal as the Crusaders handed the Maroon Knights their first loss of the season, 1-0.

Freshman Alex LaRue scored the lone goal about 12 minutes into the second half to give Catholic Central its first victory of the season.

“They were getting opportunities for sure,” Catholic Central (1-3-1) head coach David LaRue said. “We left them have them far enough away from the goal where we were confident our senior keeper could make the saves, and she did.”

The Maroon Knights (5-1) took eight shots on goal, while the Crusaders took three. Wheeling Central controlled the ball more than Catholic Central did, but the visitors were unable to find the back of the net while the hosts did.

“That’s what happened,” Wheeling Central head coach David Cross said. “We didn’t play our best, but we didn’t play poorly. We were not able to put one into the net today.”

Moriah Vosteen made eight saves in goal for the Crusaders.

Regan Blaha made two saves for the Maroon Knights.

Wheeling Central’s offensive pressure resulted in Catholic Central having to take 13 goal kicks. The Maroon Knights took four.

“We have been trying to generate offense all year,” coach LaRue said. “Today, we had a few more opportunities to see the net. Our midfielders let them attack, but they stepped up when they needed to and stopped them.”

The first shot of the game came 19 minutes into the match. That shot came off the foot of a Maroon Knight.

Catholic Central’s first shot of the game came on a header 32 minutes into the contest. The shot was the first and only shot on goal in the first 40 minutes of play.

Wheeling Central’s first shot on goal came five minutes into the second half.

The majority of the Maroon Knight’s offense was provided by senior standout Bailey Clark.

“She’s awesome,” coach LaRue said. “She is not Cristiano Ronaldo, but she is a tough player. We were able to keep them far enough away that they didn’t really test us terribly.”

Clark did test Vosteen on a breakout about nine minutes into the second half, but Vosteen was able to make the stop keeping the game scoreless.

“We have not had that problem all year,” Cross said about his team’s inability to finish against the Crusaders. “We had scored three or four goals in our other games this season.

“Their girls did a good job playing defense. They played well.”

As time ran down, the Maroon Knights pushed forward in hopes of scoring the equalizer, but they were unable to do so. When the final whistle blew, the Crusaders were finally able to celebrate their first win of the season.

“I think the girls were doubting themselves a little bit,” Coach LaRue said. “We opened with a tough schedule. We played four-big teams. We played Parkersburg South, Wheeling Park, River View and Linsly, but he girls were battling. With the win, we are able to get the monkey off of our back.”

Wheeling Central’s next match is at 2 p.m. Friday against Madonna in the Bishop’s Cup Tournament. The match will be held at Wheeling Jesuit University.

Catholic Central is scheduled to return to the pitch at noon Saturday at Oak Glen.