LOGAN — A second-half goal enabled the Logan Chieftains to tie visiting Gallipolis 1-1 in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League soccer match Thursday night in Logan Chieftain Stadium.
Gallia Academy’s Zach Stewart scored with 23:25 left in the first half when the Blue Devils got a ball to the end line and cut it back deep, where Stewart was poised to score from 18 yards out to the back side of the goal.
Stewart “hit a great shot,” said Logan coach Ian Riddlebarger. “It was disappointing, as they hadn’t really threatened us and we had had the better of play. We continued to have more of the ball but failed to generate any real good shots on goal.”
It was more of the same in the second half as Riddlebarger noted the Chiefs (1-3-2 overall, 0-1-2 SEOAL) possessed and moved the ball very well but had trouble converting.
“We possessed and moved… better than I can think of too many Logan teams doing,” Riddlebarger noted. “The final third of the field was our letdown. We tried to play through balls but kept putting too much on the pass, just like (against) Jackson.
“It’s a fast-moving field and kind of tricky to put the proper weight on the pass,’ he added of the Logan Chieftain Stadium surface. “The guys are used to grass at practice but we have to do a better job of adjusting to playing on turf.”
The Chieftains finally broke through with 12:33 remaining when Gallia Academy goalkeeper Alex Greer fell down when pressured by Alex Keith and Logan’s Peyton Quier was johnny-on-the-spot for the cleanup goal from the top of the box.
Ninety seconds later, the Chiefs had another great scoring chance when the ball was played into the GAHS 6-yard box. The Blue Devils blocked a couple shots and Zach Williams had a point-blank attempt saved by a diving Greer.
“There were a lot of things we did well tonight, what we wanted to do,” Riddlebarger noted. “You have to generate and convert scoring chances (Logan had 16 shots, but only five were on goal) to win in this game and we aren’t doing enough of that.”
Logan goalkeeper Cody Wilson played well and made four saves for the Chiefs.
Kyle Cassady had a hat trick, scoring three goals in the Chiefs’ 7-0 junior varsity victory. Caleb Keck scored twice and Riley McCabe and Nathan Kudlapur both added one. Parker Bungard (two), Keck, McCabe and Charles Bowlby all added assists.
Craig Dunn is the sports editor at the Logan Daily News in Logan Ohio.