CCHS stops Creek

STEUBENVILLE -The Catholic Central boys’ soccer team lost plenty of firepower from last year’s squad, but the Crusaders still have plenty of talented players on the roster this season.

Four players scored goals, three players had assists and two players made saves to lead Catholic Central to a 6-2 victory over Indian Creek Saturday at the Catholic Central Athletic Complex.

“That is definitely a positive,” veteran Catholic Central (2-0) head coach Steve Kopcha said about so many players contributing on offense. “We are going to have to be much more balanced this year. We are going to have to spread it out. We did that today which was good to see. We definitely have kids who are able to score goals.”

The Crusaders scored four goals within the first 20 minutes of the game.

“Catholic Central got off to a quick start,” first-year Indian Creek (0-2) head coach Joe Lewis said.

“They had good discipline and good passing.”

Individually for the Crusaders, Connor Pecar contributed a hat trick, Kevin Herrmann recorded a goal and two assists and Joe Zinno netted a goal and an assist. Also, Joey Schlich scored a goal, and Brady Bolger tallied an assist.

Goalie John Bolster made seven saves, and defender Aidan Gotta collected two saves. Gotta cleared the ball off of the line two times in a matter of seconds more than midway through the first half.

“We had chances to score,” Lewis said. “We put pressure on them in the second 20 minutes of the first half. We just weren’t able to finish.”

Max Lewis scored both goals (unassisted) for the Redskins. Zack Barker made eight saves in goal.

“Zack played a really good game,” coach Lewis said. “He was getting peppered.”

“Indian Creek is a local team, and we knew they were going to be a good challenge for us,” said Kopcha, whose team owned a 4-1 lead at the half said. “There was a lot of energy and excitement. The kids are friends. I think that helped to settle us down.

“Scoring first is important, and that was the case for us today. It was a good game.”

The teams are quite familiar with one another.

“All of these kids have played together or against each other for a long time,” coach Lewis said. “I would say half of these kids have been playing together since they were 6 years-old in the rec league. They are all friends.”

Indian Creek is scheduled to play again at 5 p.m. Tuesday at home against East Liverpool.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders will look to improve to 3-0 when it visits John Marshall at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“It was nice to start the season with a win,” Kopcha said. “We are going in the right direction, but we still have things we need to continue to work on, to develop and improve, and that is what we are going to do.”