CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — Not as satisfying as a win, but at least it wasn’t loss.
The Gallia Academy boys soccer team opened the 2018 season on an even keel after battling to a 1-1 tie with host Chesapeake on Tuesday night in an Ohio Valley Conference match in Lawrence County.
The visiting Blue Devils (0-0-1, 0-0-1 OVC) never trailed throughout the match, although both teams did battle through a scoreless tie in the first 40 minutes of play.
The game remained knotted at zeroes until the 54th minute, when the Blue and White finally drew first blood. Brody Wilt buried a right-footed boot into the back of the net with 26:34 left in regulation, giving GAHS a 1-0 advantage.
From there, an intense battle became even more spirited as the Panthers fought to get back in the mix.
Gallia Academy picked up both a yellow card and a red card over the next 10 minutes of play, and CHS ultimately came up with a breakthrough in the 66th minute.
The Blue Devils were whistled for a penalty, allowing Ian Picklesimer a penalty shot with 14:47 left in regulation. Picklesimer successful planted a right-footed kick into the back of the net, allowing the Purple and White to knot the game at one-all.
GAHS keeper Bryson Miller — who stopped six shots in the tie — had to make a trio of key saves over the final two minutes just to preserve the split.
The Blue Devils outshot the hosts by a slim 10-9 overall margin, but CHS put more shots on goal by a 7-3 edge. Nicholas Johnson came up with two saves in goal for Chesapeake.
Gallia Academy traveled to Portsmouth on Wednesday night and opens its home schedule Thursday when it hosts Alexander at 7 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.