Redskins avenge regular season loss to EL in sectionals
STEUBENVILLE – Indian Creek boys soccer coach Jonathan Hoover denied a water cooler shower after a Division II sectional game on Monday night.
But in his head, he was soaking up the feelings of sweet revenge.
At Harding Stadium, the Redskins rallied from an early deficit to beat East Liverpool, 3-1, in the first round of the tournament. On Sept. 16, the Potters beat Indian Creek, 3-1.
“To get this opportunity to have a chance to get some redemption on them, especially in tournament play, always makes things better,” Hoover said.
There was some bad blood brewing in their first match up and it continued on Reno Field. Three Potters were given red cards. An Indian Creek player was issued one, too. Plus, East Liverpool’s head coach Zack Kinsey was suspended for receiving a red card in his previous game. Sean Faloon, a center-midfielder, was also suspended.
“He played very well the first game,” Hoover said. “They were definitely missing him in the middle of the field.”
There wasn’t a lack of pushing and shoving or shouting and jawing in the second edition of Potters vs. Redskins.
“I try to keep it cool and not even listen when they’re talking bad,” said IC senior forward Russell Ratcliffe. “We’re used to playing them. They have a reputation.”
Tied at one in the with less than two minutes remaining until halftime, a yellow card was issued to East Liverpool sophomore Klayton Kosec. Jordan Herald of the Redskins took the impending free kick from 20 yards out. With two bounces in front of the net, Ratcliffe corralled the ball and punched it past East Liverpool goaltender at the 1:31 mark of the first half.
Ratcliffe added a second goal with 41 seconds left in regulation, off a Lee Utt free kick, to further ensure the victory.
“I’m just glad we scored some good goals,” Ratcliffe said. “This could have been our last game this year and the last game that I ever play.
“Me and my team, we pulled through, and we’re pumped to play another one.”
Indian Creek (8-9) gets another shot at revenge against Big Red in the next round on Wednesday. On Sept. 6, Steubenville beat the Redskins, 6-1. On Sept. 31, Big Red won, 2-1.
“There are really no secrets between us and them,” Hoover said.
“We know what they have, they know what they have. It’s that sort of thing. We just got to keep playing hard.
“(On Monday), we played well for the entire match. One of the best, most complete games all year.”
The Redskins attempted 18 shots, while goaltender Andrew Price made eight saves. Sophomore Kyle Probert got their first goal, off a Ratcliffe assist, 18 minutes, 31 seconds into the game.
“It was definitely a really big stage,” said Probert, a Steubenville resident. “I’ve never scored here before and never scored in sectional play. It was special to be out here.”
This was the second year in a row that Indian Creek ousted East Liverpool from the sectional tournament.
“I kept telling them to play our game and to play the game we know how to play, especially when it started to get rough,” Hoover said. “When it starts to get physical out there you don’t want to get down or dirty. You want to play with class and you want to keep your poise, because that’s when you start to make mistakes and you lose players. You have to be smart with that in tournament play.”
Bryar Meek scored the Potters’ lone goal at the 26:28 mark on the first half. They end the year at 7-7-1.
(Matthew Peaslee is a sports writer and can be contacted at email@example.com or followed on Twitter at @thempeas).