Tigers win: Miller’s hat trick powers Marietta past Maysville, 5-3

DEVOLA – Marietta High enjoyed some Miller delight.

Senior co-captain Katie Miller notched a hat trick to lead the Lady Tigers to a season-opening 5-3 triumph over Maysville in non-conference soccer action Tuesday night.

Sami Koons and Audrey May each added a goal for the orange and black winners, while sophomore keeper Nora Gulick was credited with eight saves.

Maysville (0-1-0) got second-half goals from Bailee Ray, Kelsey Rice, and Kelly Bryan. Senior goalie Shawna Lambert had nine saves.

“We’ve been working on offense, and everybody’s doing better as we go along,” said veteran MHS girls’ soccer coach Jeff Price. “We have a lot of inexperience, but what we do have our girls who hustle and work hard on the field.”

Marietta staked itself to a 2-0 advantage on two bang-bang goals from Miller a couple of minutes apart in the first half. On her first score, she received a throw-in down the line, dribbled the ball from the corner straight-in, and drilled a shot on target when the Panther goalie stepped outside.

Not long afterward, a Maysville defender was whistled for a handball in the penalty area, and on the ensuing PK attempt, Miller beat Lambert to make it 2-0.

“Katie definitely made things happen,” Price said.

Late in the opening half, Maysville went on the attack, and a shot by Kendal Kirkbride caromed off the crossbar. Shortly after that, the Panthers surged again, but Gulick was there to break up a service cross.

At halftime, Marietta led 2-0.

“I’m completely impressed with the talent and effort everyone put in,” Miller said. “Everybody had just great passes and runs. Wherever I wanted the ball, it seemed to be there. It was awesome. Hopefully, we can keep it going.”

Early in the second half, the Lady Tigers stretched their lead to 3-0 on Koons’ loose-ball score in the box after Miller’s right side corner kick.

“Sami’s got quick feet,” Price said, “and if the ball’s in there, she’s likely to get her foot on it.”

With about 26 minutes left in the match, Maysville cut it to 3-1 on Bailee Ray’s goal. Nearly five minutes later, Rice made it 3-2 when she re-directed a cross past Gulick.

“Maysville did a great job of never giving up,” Miller said. “I was extremely impressed with them, because they kept fighting back.”

With 15 minutes remaining, Miller scored her third goal on a breakaway to give the Lady Tigers a 4-2 advantage. After the match, she said it was her second career hat trick.

“I’m so excited,” said Miller of the hat trick.

May, a sophomore striker, capped all the MHS scoring when she, too, outran the Maysville defense, and beat Lambert with a shot to the back of the net, making it 5-2.

Maysville was not finished, though, and got an opportunity to reduce the deficit when Marietta was called for a foul in the penalty area. But on the PK attempt, Rice cleared the bar with her kick.

With time running out in the match, Maysville got a goal from Bryan, who capitalized on the Marietta defense’s inability to clear the ball out of danger. But the Panther score proved to be too little, too late.

“All in all, it was a pretty good outing,” Price said. “Maysville had some good players. There’s no doubt about it. They did a nice job. That’s the first time we’ve ever played them.”

Marietta is scheduled to play at Warren at 7 p.m. Thursday.

“That’s going to be interesting,” Price said. “Warren has a pretty good team.”