VINCENT — Suffice it to say that Warren High School’s soccer field isn’t exactly one of the Logan Chieftains’ favorite places to visit.
The Chiefs’ history down the hill from the high school got a bit drearier Tuesday evening when the host Warriors scored with less than 19 minutes remaining to forge a 1-0 victory over the Purple & White.
It was a Mid-Ohio Valley Soccer League matchup — Logan’s first such game of the season — between the two former Southeastern Ohio Athletic League rivals.
“I thought we were solid,” said Logan coach Ian Riddlebarger. “Statistically, we out-possessed them (51 to 49 percent), they outshot us (9-8), we completed more passes in the final third of the field (29-18) and they were more successful completing passes. In many ways, a close game.
“Unfortunately, their pace and pressure the second half, I think, contributed to our conceding the only goal,” he added. “We had a few decent looks at goal in the first half but not as many the second. When we did get a good look, we put it right on their goalie.”
Logan’s best scoring chance came late in the first half when Stephan Walker back-heeled a ball in the box toward goal but a Warrior defender was able to clear it away and keep it out of goal.
“We continue to struggle to generate clear scoring chances,” the veteran Logan coach commented. “We were slow when switching play. I think some of that was our not adjusting to the field surface well enough. Some, just our awareness of space.
“The second half, they were putting much more pressure on us in our build-up and made it difficult for us to be cohesive in playing forward,” he added. “They were quick in closing on us but we weren’t quick enough in our reads and actions.”
Warren (3-3-1) scored the game’s only goal with 18:33 remaining. It all started when the Warriors gained possession in the center circle and worked the ball forward centrally before Caleb Burns played a ball to right forward Shane Gardner.
Gardner was able to drive past an LHS defender toward the endline before cutting a ball back to the near corner of the six-yard box for an on-running Burns, who was left unmarked by the Logan defense after his pass to Gardner. Burns roofed a one-time ball into the top of the goal to beat LHS keeper Tegan Myers.
The Chiefs dropped to 3-4 on the season.
“Their coach felt it was the best game they had played this year,” Riddlebarger pointed out.
“It’s frustrating,” he added. “I’ve got to do a better job in making sure we are putting it all together. We have some moments in some aspects of our game but not enough to be consistently effective.”
Logan upped its junior varsity record to 3-1-2 with a 5-0 shutout of the Warriors as Hunter Fickel had a hat trick and Chandler Estep and Ace Starr contributed goals. Alex Cummin, Eli Ennis and Ethan St. Clair all had assists and Max Black earned the shutout in net for the Chiefs.
The Chieftains reach the midway point of their season Saturday afternoon when they visit Reynoldsburg and then head back to suburban Columbus on Tuesday for a match at Whitehall.