LOGAN — At the time their team bus arrived onto the Logan High School campus late Tuesday afternoon, the Warren Lady Warriors had conceded a grand total of four goals in posting a 7-1 soccer record during the first half of their season.
By the time they left a few hours later, they had allowed five goals and were 7-1-1 after the Logan Lady Chiefs played them to an epic 1-1 deadlock in Logan Chieftain Stadium.
Warren is now 2-0-1 in Mid-Ohio Valley Soccer League competition while Logan slipped to 0-1-1.
The Lady Chiefs (2-3-3), who reached the midway point of their season, had beaten the Lady Warriors in a tough contest last season and knew this game would be intense.
Logan controlled the ball most of the first 10 minutes, with Warren only getting a few touches, before the Lady Warriors got a goal to take a 1-0 lead.
Logan coach Brandy Ball noted that, just as the halftime buzzer sounded, Emily McGreevy sent a great shot, assisted by Mollie Gabriel, toward the net, but there was uncertainty as to whether the ball was inside or outside the net.
“For this reason, the goal wasn’t counted and we went into halftime,” she said. “This really got our girls fired up, and they wanted to go out and take back their turf.”
Two minutes into the second half, they did just that. This time, McGreevy scored a goal that counted, also off a Gabriel feed, to level the score.
“Just a great pass into the center and a brilliant shot up over a very tall Warren keeper,” Ball said. “The game was on. For the next 10 minutes, coach (Greg) Rimkus and I agreed that the girls were playing probably the best soccer we’ve seen all year. They connected passes, worked through the back using Dani Wolfe, Maya Burggraf, Josie Rimkus and Emilee Kessler just like they should be.
“This defensive line gave a tremendous fight to hold off Warren, but they did things right, which allowed them to trust one another and move the ball with ease,” she continued. “They looked smooth. This composure allowed them to steadily move the ball up the field. A lot of people enjoy the ‘boot it’ game, but not coaches who want to see a connective team. We loved watching our girls do what they do best, work together.”
Ball had high praise for goalkeeper Aaliyah Lewis, who made a crucial, spectacular second-half save to keep the game tied.
Logan was called for a foul in the penalty area, leading to a penalty kick, and Lewis made the right choice and blocked the Warren PK.
“She knew that a lot of weight was on her shoulders,” Ball said. “As Warren took the shot, Aaliyah made the right choice, like she usually does, and blocked an extremely well-placed shot, keeping this a tie ball game. It was truly something to watch!”
The Lady Chiefs held Warren to just six shots all night — Lewis made three saves — after the Lady Warriors entered the game having outscored their first eight foes 34-4.
Brooklin Harris and McGreevy both had five shots for the Lady Chiefs, Carly Leach three, Gabriel two and Madison Turner and Blair Kline one apiece.
“Our Lady Chiefs really outdid themselves in working the ball and maintaining possession,” Ball praised. “They are making progress, and you can tell they feel it. What we’ve been saying is working and it will only lead to more wins this season.”
The Lady Chiefs begin the second half of their season Saturday (10 a.m.) by hosting Maysville. A game scheduled for Thursday night against Westfall was postponed — the Mustangs didn’t have enough players available — and has been rescheduled for next Wednesday, Sept. 25 (6 p.m.) in Logan Chieftain Stadium.