BELPRE, Ohio — Some much-needed offense.
After being held scoreless in its last two matches, the Point Pleasant boys soccer team came up with a pair of first half goals over a 10-minute span and ultimately held on for a 2-1 victory over host Belpre in a non-conference match in Washington County.
The Black Knights (8-8-1) snapped a 100-plus minute scoreless drought and also ended a two-game losing skid with the triumph, but the guests — for a third straight contest — found themselves staring up at an early deficit.
Tice Church converted a penalty kick in the 12th minute after sliding the ball through the left side of the net, allowing the Golden Eagles to secure their only lead of the night at 1-0.
Then, in the 20th minute, Point’s Alex Carlisle sent a long ball deep into the back of the Belpre defensive line. Cole Walker tracked down the free ball for a 1-on-1 opportunity and beat the keeper on the low right side, tying the game at one apiece.
Carlisle was again involved in the game-winning goal after sending a ball deep into Belpre’s back line. This time, however, Adam Veroski tracked down the free ball and ripped it inside the near post — giving PPHS a 2-1 advantage in the 30th minute.
Neither team scored the rest of the way, and opportunities were somewhat limited for each squad as the Black Knights controlled possession for most of the second half.
After close losses to Parkersburg South (1-0) and Williamstown (2-0) in following up a 10-0 win over St. Marys, PPHS coach Chip Wood was glad to see his troops find an offensive spark. He also acknowledged that it was far from perfect, but still enough.
“We played as well as the surface would allow and we controlled the game in long stretches,” Wood said. “It started to get a little chippy late in the game, so we went real conservative and slowed the game down just to get out with the win. We never really were completely into the game as a unit, but we did just enough to be better than Belpre tonight.”
Point Pleasant outshot the hosts by a 12-5 overall margin and also claimed a 4-2 edge in corner kicks. Belpre was whistled for twice as many fouls in the contest by a 12-6 margin.
Zach Rediger made four saves in net for the Black Knights, who claimed a season sweep of Belpre after posting a 2-0 triumph at PPHS back on Sept. 5.
Point Pleasant returns to action Saturday when it travels to Sissonville.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.