Blue Devils shock Warren, 2-1

By Paul Boggs -

CENTENARY, Ohio — Before Tuesday night, arguably the Gallia Academy High School soccer squad’s best all-time win was a tie with Warren last season.

Now, officially, the Blue Devils indeed own a victory over the Warriors.

That’s because, on Tuesday night at Gallia Academy High School’s Lester Field, the Blue Devils defeated Warren for the first time in school history — prevailing 2-1 in the non-league tilt.

That’s correct.

It’s win number one for the Blue Devils against the Warriors, as GAHS — until the past year-and-a-half — has struggled mightily as a program, while Warren has long been established in Southeastern Ohio.

The two teams are former Southeastern Ohio Athletic League rivals, as Gallia Academy improved to 9-4-0 — winning its first match outside of the Ohio Valley Conference or against Ohio Valley Christian School.

And, the Blue Devils did so in dramatic fashion, as Justin Day scored the game-winning goal with two minutes remaining.

Gallia Academy’s other marker came courtesy of senior striker Isaiah Lester, who found the back of the net with 32 minutes to play.

Lester, who scored his team-best 24th goal of 2016, assisted on the game-winning goal by Day.

Pedro Carrascal recorded the assist on Lester’s marker.

It was also an outstanding Blue Devil defensive effort, limiting Warren to only one goal — as senior goalkeeper Caden Wilt wound up with a dozen saves.

Last year, Gallia Academy managed a shocking 1-1 tie against the Warriors — in an SEOAL match late in the season.

Now, once again late in the campaign, the Blue Devils have a victory to savor.

“What a game! I could not be more proud of my kids,” said GAHS coach Richard Isberner. “They never gave up and they left everything on the field.”

The Blue Devils, despite being doubled up in corner kicks 9-4, did outshoot the Warriors 15-14 — led by Lester with seven.

Day, Jacob Ratliff and Madi Oiler amounted two shots apiece.

The Blue Devils return home, and return to OVC action, against South Point tonight.

Kickoff is set for 7 p.m., and Gallia Academy — at a perfect 6-0-0 in the league — can capture the outright OVC championship with a win.

Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106

By Paul Boggs