Pitch battles: Marietta, Warren boys tie 1-1

VINCENT – In what could very well be a sneak peek of a district championship match up later on this season, the visiting Marietta Tigers and the Warren Warriors played to a 1-1 tie at Warren High School Tuesday night.

The Warriors were recently selected as the number one seed for the upcoming district tournament, while the Tigers were chosen as the two seed.

“We are just two pretty evenly matched teams,” said Warren head coach Andrew Johnson, “They played really well and we played really hard. It was just a really good game.”

Warren claimed the first match up between the two rivals with a 2-1 win in Marietta way back in August.

Tuesday it would be the orange and black who claimed the early lead on a perfectly executed goal by senior Skylar Miracle with an assist from Ryan Teer.

Teer drove up the right side before sending a perfect pass to Miracle in the middle.

Miracle’s kick just eluded a diving Tyler Schwendeman to give MHS the 1-0 lead with just under 18 minutes to play in the first half.

“Ryan Teer laid the ball over to Skylar and I think that was the hardest I have ever seen him (Miracle) kick a ball,” said Marietta head coach Todd Morris. “It was just a great finish and an outstanding pass.”

Warren saw an opportunity go by the way side when Nathan Robinson’s kick sailed just over the goal after clearing the arms of Tiger keeper Eric Pierce early in the half.

Tiger senior Brent Huck had a decent look at the goal for MHS that would have given them a two-goal lead but his shot with his left foot was saved nicely by Schwendeman.

As is typically the case when the two get together, it was a very physical contest as evidenced by the 33 penalties called in the game including 16 on Marietta and 17 on Warren.

Warren’s Alex Miller had a few chances to reach the net in the first half including an indirect kick that deflected off the top of the cross bar with 16:30 to play.

Both goal keepers, Pierce and Schwendeman, were in top form in the first half as Pierce came up with four saves while Schwendeman had a pair of saves for the blue and white.

The Warriors seemed to come out a little bit more aggressive in the second half as Ben Koch’s attempt at a Warren goal was just wide right only minutes into the final half.

Warren finally pulled even with 28:41 to play in the contest the when Aaron Mazurkiewicz sailed a shot past Pierce and into the back of the net with an assist from Michael Ocallaghan.

“I put Aaron (Mazurkiewicz) back on top tonight because of match ups and he just got it done,” said Johnson of the game tying goal. “He can pretty much play at any position he wants to play. He is a just a gifted athlete.”

Neither team could muster a goal the rest of the way despite several opportunities by both, fittingly ending the match up of such evenly matched squads in a draw.

“This was just a great game,” said Morris. “We would take 16 of these kind of battles every year.”

Morris thinks a rematch of the two teams in the tournament is quite likely.

“We always have very competitive physical match ups when the two of us get together,” said Morris, whose team finishes the regular season with an 11-2-3 record. “Who knows maybe we will meet again.”

Johnson felt both teams left everything they had on the pitch.

“I’m just proud of our boys. Marietta is a great team and are very senior laden and played very strong,” said Johnson. “We definitely had to step it up tonight. I can’t think of one player who didn’t give 100 percent.”

The tie gave the Warriors a 10-2-2 mark on the season with a pair of regular season games to go.

Warren will next travel to Logan on Thursday.