Steubenville nets another home game in sectional action by defeating Cambridge
STEUBENVILLE — The Steubenville boys soccer team struggled finishing against Cambridge Tuesday night, but Big Red was still able to come through with the victory.
Big Red, the No. 2 seed, scored three goals in a span of a little more than eight minutes late in the second half to pull away from the 15th-seeded Bobcats 5-1 in a Division II Eastern District tournament game inside Harding Stadium.
“We took a lot of shots,” Big Red (14-1-2) head coach Greg Bowers said. “Their goalie played a great game. He made some great saves. We need to do a better job of getting our shots on goal. We had quite a few shots, but their goalie was up to the challenge.”
The score was 2-1 with 19:39 left to play, but Big Red delivered three goals to put the game away.
“That is what we were trying to do,” Cambridge (3-12-2) head coach J.R. Fox said about his team keeping the game close late in the game. “We came down here and played them early in the season, and they beat us 9-1. We made a collective decision to do something different, and it worked.
“I am very pleased with how the boys fought. We have only won three games, but you could not tell. We have a lot of young kids. We are going to have a good team coming back next year.”
With the win, Big Red will play No. 5 St. Clairsville in the sectional final at 5 p.m. Saturday back at Harding. St. Clairsville defeated No. 9 seed Beaver Local 3-2 at Red Devil Stadium to advance to play Big Red.
Adam DiCarlo led the way for Big Red with two goals and an assist. Noah Reinacher recorded two goals, while Ryan Delelles tallied a goal and an assist. Evan Naylor, Jacob Noble and Ian Phillips all produced an assist. Jacob Clevenger made two saves in goal.
“They did nothing different in this game,” Fox said. “They did what they normally do. They are a very good team. They legitimately are an excellent soccer team. You are going to hear about them for the next couple of weeks. They are a good team. There is no question about it.
“They are one of the top teams in our area in the Eastern District along with River View. We have played both of them. They are evenly matched. That will be a great game.”
Uriel Martinez netted the lone goal of the game for Cambridge. Evan Hannon made 13 saves in goal.
Delelles scored off of an assist by Naylor to give Big Red a 1-0 lead with 14:39 left to play in the first half. Then, DiCarlo recorded his first goal to increase Big Red’s advantage to 2-0 with 5:13 remaining before halftime.
Martinez scored from long range to pull the Bobcats to within 2-1 with 19:39 left to play.
“We have been in tight matches before,” Bowers said. “Last year, we scored in the last eight minutes to defeat St. Clairsville. We have been through some tough games. After we scored one, we gained confidence, we were able to pull away and we are able to close the game out.”
Reinacher collected his first goal of the game with 12:20 left to give Big Red a 3-1 lead. Reinacher added his second goal with 7:49 on the clock to make the score 4-1.
DiCarlo capped the scoring in the game with 4:08 still showing to make the score 5-1.
“Soccer is a game of momentum,” Bowers said. “The kids were getting frustrated with themselves when they kept missing opportunities. Once we scored one, they gained confidence and were able to figure it out.”
Last season, Big Red advanced to the Region 7 semifinals before falling to Columbus St. Francis DeSales 8-0 at Zanesville.
“We grew a lot,” Fox said. “We started this season with seven players who had not played before. We lost our top scorer to a broken collarbone. If we had him, it might have been a different game with his speed up top along with Elliot (Kirby). They did an outstanding job. I am proud of what they did tonight.”