BECKLEY, W.Va. — Different battles. Same result.
The Point Pleasant boys soccer team started the 2018 season on a solid note following a pair of road wins at Independence and PikeView this past weekend in a pair of non-conference matches at the YMCA Field.
The Black Knights (2-0-0) opened the campaign with a decisive 6-0 triumph over the Patriots on Friday night, then rallied back from a one-goal deficit on Saturday for a thrilling 2-1 decision over the Panthers.
PPHS outshot Independence by a sizable 37-2 overall margin, including a 17-2 edge in shots on goal, as the Red and Black built a 2-0 intermission advantage.
Adam Veroski opened the scoring after receiving a crossing pass from Jaden Reed in the third minute for a 1-0 edge. Veroski added a second goal in the 11th minute following a crossing pass from Cohen Yates.
Point caught a lucky bounce early in the second half as a corner kick bounced off of an IHS player, resulting in an own goal during the 43rd minute.
Isaiah Snyder buried a line drive from 18 yards out into the opposite corner for a 4-0 lead in the 47th minute, then Garrett Hatten planted a loose ball from 12 yards out in the 66th minute for a five-goal cushion.
Snyder completed the six-goal victory in the 69th minute with another successful 18-yard boot to the opposite corner.
Point Pleasant claimed a 3-2 edge in direct kicks and 3-0 advantage in corner kicks. PPHS keeper Nick Smith made two saves for a shutout, while Colton Blackcorn stopped 12 shots in the setback.
The Black Knights were held scoreless in the first half against PikeView, plus Point was unlucky with a bounce over that same stretch.
Gage Damewood found himself in an opportunistic position as the sophomore played a bounce off of a defender in front of the net. The ball took a weird bounce and spun itself inside the post, giving PVHS a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.
Veroski ended Point’s scoreless drought in the 48th minute after booting a 22-yard bullet past the diving attempt of Panther keeper Colton Caskey, tying the game at one.
The eventual clincher came in the 69th minute as Veroski buried a penalty kick into the lower right side of the goal.
The penalty happened when Braxton Watkins-Lovejoy was tripped by multiple defenders while setting up a pass.
The Black Knights outshot PikeView by a slim 15-13 overall margin, which included an 8-5 deficit in shots on goal. Point also claimed a 4-3 edge in corner and was whistled for only six of the 21 fouls in the contest.
Smith stopped seven shots in the triumph, while Caskey made only three saves in goal for the Panthers.
“This was a very good win for us. We haven’t had a come-from-behind win for years, and last year we were always on the other side of one-goal games,” PPHS coach Chip Wood said following the PikeView victory. “I thought we did a great job of making adjustments in game and it really made a difference in getting some good chances in the second half.
“This was a really good experience for this group in traveling to Beckley. We took care of business in both games, which is a great way to start the season.”
Point Pleasant returns to action Saturday when it hosts Independence.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.