|Pirates edge Musketeers in tough PCL tussle|
|Friday, September 06, 2013 12:00 AM|
By DAVE BONINSEGNA
FORT JENNINGS — Thursday night’s Putnam County League boys soccer match between the Fort Jennings Musketeers and the Continental Pirates had everything you would expect out of a PCL battle: physicality, intense play, a penalty kick and sportsmanship.
The Pirates got on the board once in each half and held on to snag 2-1 victory.
Dallas Geckle and Derek Troyer scored the Continental goals, while Troy Ricker delivered the lone score for the hosts.
The teams were evenly-matched for the most part in the first 40 minutes with neither squad getting much of a foothold early on.
Alex Vetter had a pair of saves (6 saves versus 9 shots on-goal) in the first 10 minutes for Fort Jennings, with not much coming the way of Pirate netkeeper Austin Mansfield (2 saves versus 6 shots on-goal).
Aaron Neidert gave the hosts their first real attempt with 18:44 to go in the first half but Mansfield turned the shot away.
Geckle finally broke the scoreless tie at the 13:15 mark off a ricochet shot that found its way to the right side of Vetter, making it a 1-0 contest.
Kyle Maag had a pair of chances less than a minute apart; however, neither found the back of the net.
Vetter made a sliding save off a Zach Swartzman effort late in the first half to keep the tally at 1-nil.
The second half was an entirely different match; the intensity grew and the patience of the officials got shorter.
While the Pirates had the lead on the scoreboard, they were chalking up a lead in yellow cards handed out. One would have thought that Halloween came early because the men in yellow were handing them out like candy.
There was even a red card issued and if not for the sportsmanship and honesty of Jennings coach Gregg Luthman, one of the Pirates would have been out of the match and the next. Luthman pointed out to the officials that the infraction was not against the player in question; all was resolved and the Pirate player returned to the match.
Continental controlled the field for the better part of the second half and used it to its advantage when Troyer sent the second ball past Vetter with 15:22 to go, making it a 2-0 Continental lead.
Despite not spending a lot of time in their offensive end, the Musketeers caught a break with 12:10 left: a penalty inside the 18 against the Pirates gave Troy Ricker a penalty shot, 1-on-1 against Mansfield. Ricker kicked right, Mansfield guessed left and just like that, Jennings was on the board at 2-1.
However, the next 12 minutes-plus were spent in the Pirates’ offensive end of the pitch with the hosts got getting another opportunity to score.
Continental controlled the corner kicks 6-2.
The Musketeers fall to 2-3-1 with the loss, while Continental moves to 4-1-1.
The hosts (4-1-1) won the junior varsity match 2-0.
Fort Jennings visits Van Wert 11 a.m. Saturday.