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St. C wins defensive match against Catholic Central

GATHERING IT UP — Catholic Central’s Leon Zaleski collects the ball in front of St. Clairsville’s Luke Miller during Tuesday’s match. - Seth Staskey

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Through the first two games of the young boys soccer season, St. Clairsville has shown that it’s able to do it with defense.

The Red Devils turned in their second straight shutout Tuesday evening thanks to a 2-0 victory against Steubenville Catholic Central on the Red Devil Stadium pitch.

“Defensively, we played pretty well, but I was a little disappointed with the offensive output because I felt like we left some (scoring) chances on the field,” St. C. head coach Jeff Roberts said. “We played a little bit better in the second half, but give Steubenville Central credit because they came out and really wanted it.”

The Red Devils, who defeated debuting Shenandoah last week in ‘Friday Night Futbol,’ will make their first road trip of the season on Saturday afternoon when they trek to Dover.

The Crusaders, meanwhile, dropped to 1-1 on the young season, but despite the loss head coach Steve Kopcha saw plenty of bright spots from his club.

“We had a couple of mistakes, which kind of helped them out and we need to continue to work on is our offense to create some more scoring opportunities for us,” Kopcha said. “I saw some progress from us. We moved the ball better and had better possessions.”

Despite the better possessions, it didn’t lead to many scoring opportunities or even shot chances for the Crusaders.

The Red Devils had more than several chances, however. They simply couldn’t capitalize.

The first half appeared headed for a scoreless deadlock before the Crusaders were called for a handball in the box, which gave the Devils a penalty kick. Chris Schmidt promptly buried the ball in the back of the net for the 1-0 lead with just 6:02 to play until halftime.

“They definitely played harder than us in the first half,” Roberts said. “Steubenville Central is well-coached and they play hard. I feel like this is a good win, but we have a lot more to learn moving forward.”

St. Clairsville continued to pepper Steubenville Central’s Michael Duff with shots into the second half.

With 37:11 to play in the game, the Red Devils added an insurance goal. Jason Clark worked the ball past Duff for the 2-0 lead.

The Red Devils had other scoring chances, but many of the shots soared high of the net or Duff turned them away.

“We definitely played a lot better in the second half, but we’re going to have to put together a full 80 minutes to compete with Dover (on Saturday),” Roberts said.

The Crusaders will be back on the road Thursday at Trinity Christian in Morgantown.

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