Marshall shines, leads Big Red girls to sectional title
STEUBENVILLE — Mary Marshall did not want to lose her last home game, and the senior standout did her best to make sure that did not happen.
Marshall tallied four goals (two in each half), leading the No. 7 seven seed Big Red girls soccer team to a 4-0 victory against No. 9 seed Carrollton in a Division II Eastern District sectional final Thursday night on Reno Field inside Harding Stadium.
“That is good for her,” first-year Big Red (10-5-2) head coach Annie Cutri said. “This is her senior year. This was her last home game. It means the world to her. She works hard. She deserves it.”
With the win, Big Red will now play No. 2 seed John Glenn in the district semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on the road. John Glenn defeated No. 13 seed Morgan, 9-0, Thursday night. Morgan defeated No. 17 seed Harrison Central, 4-0, Monday.
“It means a lot because of the uncertainty with COVID and injuries,” Cutri said about her team winning a sectional title. “The girls have had to adapt, play in different positions and be very fluid this season. They’ve proven that they can step up and overcome to show up and play.”
Chloe Petrelle collected a pair of assists, while Celia Crosby contributed one in the victory.
Big Red used two goalies. Elexis Martin started in goal and made seven saves before being replaced late in the second half by Adelaide Shaw, who did not have to make a save.
“We’re glad Lexie was able to get that shutout,” Cutri said. “She deserves it. We are still working on our defense. Defense is going to be our focus in the upcoming week. We are going to work on organizing and communicating. We are going to see what works.”
Kaylee Leggett finished with eight saves — the last one coming on a penalty kick — for the Warriors. Steubenville out-shot Carrollton, 15-7.
Though Big Red had control of the ball, they struggled to finish early on as the game was scoreless for more than 24 minutes.
“The first half was a little shaky,” Cutri said. “We were able to find ourselves for 10-15 minutes. The second half was better.
“We are dealing with injuries. We have lost Anastasia (Crisante). In the first half, we were trying to figure out who to play where and what works best at this time and moving forward.”
Even with everything that has happened this year, Cutri and her assistant coaches (Nikki Slonaker and Brian Pietro) believed Big Red could not only get back to a sectional co-final this season but they could also come away with a victory.
“Yes, for sure,” Cutri said. “Even with our injuries and COVID and everything and not having any scrimmages at the beginning of the season, the coaches new what this team was capable of doing. The girls just had to realize themselves what they were capable of doing.”