Criss’ cautious goal sparks Big Red over IC

STEUBENVILLE – Big Red forward Jason Criss can get antsy at times.

“I’m always trying to position myself to score,” he said.

But not too antsy.

“I don’t want to be offsides,” he said. “I always try to be careful with that.”

At the 24:41 mark of the first half of Steubenville’s match with Indian Creek on Monday, Phil Stoutz delivered a strong pass to Criss, who got around Redskins defender Jonathan Blackburn and scored.

“I was watching where I was at, making sure I wasn’t offsides,” Criss said. “When (the ball) popped through I just put it in.”

Big Red added another goal in the first half and held on in the second, winning 2-1.

“The kids always hustle,” said Steubenville coach Greg Bowers. “Jason knows how to make runs. He made a great run in the first half with that goal. He just has to get some confidence to score and when that happens we’re going to be a dangerous team.”

Big Red (8-3-1) beat Indian Creek (6-7), 6-1 on Sept. 4.

“We were absent-minded in the second half of that game,” said Redskins coach Jonathan Hoover, as his team gave up four goals in the final 40 minutes.

“We really regrouped tonight. They’re a fantastic team and they move the ball so well and communicate well.

“It shows well for our program that we’re stepping up to meet these teams and improving to make it a thrilling game.”

A Steubenville free kick at the 10:45 mark of the first half rolled around in front of the Redskins net.

Goaltender Andrew Price got a hand on it, defender Caleb Duggan got a foot on it, but Big Red midfielder Parker Dalton put it away with a ginger touch past Price.

“I guess if you have a wide open shot and miss you might as well take one like that,” Bowers said.

Bryan Brown and Nate Kurty caused choas for Price, a freshman, on another scoring try earlier in the first after a Jorge Dominquez cross kick. They collided with the goaltender and almost snuck in a goal.

“Andrew is a tough, young kid,” Hoover said. “He’s definitely stepped up his game as a freshman.”

He made 12 saves as Steubenville gained a majority of the possessions. Big Red took nearly 25 shots that sailed within 10 feet of the goal and they earned eight corner kicks.

The Redskins capitalized on their best scoring chance at the 24:40 mark of the second half. Off a free kick, Russell Ratcliffe dribbled down the middle and flipped a pass to Max Lewis on the right side. After a series of two more quick passes, Lewis struck it past goaltender John Paul Duff.

“The thing that works best for us is that Russell and Max have great speed,” Hoover said. “We had a good opportunity there, but unfortunately (Steubenville) was able to disrupt a lot of those one-twos.”

Big Red hosts Beaver Local on Wednesday.

“We’re hoping to hit our hot streak now,” Criss said.

Indian Creek welcomes Jefferson County Christian Thursday for senior night.