Flyers shut down Clay in pivotal SOC battle
PORTSMOUTH — The Southern Ohio Conference Division 1 soccer race was a battle between the St. Joseph Flyers and Portsmouth Clay Panthers last season.
Things haven’t change this season as the two teams met on Thursday with each 1-0 in the SOC.
But this time the Flyers turned in a strong defensive effort and Jackson Rowe took care of the biggest part of the offense with a hat-trick in a 4-0 shutout of the Panthers.
“Our defense of Max Weber, Jared Johnson and Michael Mahlmeister played well and Jimmy Mahlmeister had another shutout,” said Flyers’ coach Mike Balestra.
“We played a very good team game. We like to play a high-tempo game and hold possession and we were able to do that again.”
The defense allowed only one shot by Clay in the first half as the Flyers took a 3-0 lead.
Rowe got his first goal at the 19:13 mark of the first half with an assist from Zach Johnson.
J.C. Damron made it 2-0 with a goal at the 8:43 mark with an assist from Bryce Balestra.
Rowe gave the Flyers the 3-0 halftime lead with 2:52 left in the half with another assist from Johnson.
Rowe then got his third goal at the 17:27 mark of the second half with an assist from Dru Canter and then the Flyers’ defense took care of the rest of the game.
The Flyers are now 4-0-1 overall and 2-0-1 in the SOC. Clay falls to 3-2-1 and 1-1-0 in the conference.
The Flyers visit Chesapeake at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
St. Joseph 3 1 = 4
Ports. Clay 0 0 = 0
SJ – Jackson Rowe (assist Zach Johnson) 19:13
SJ – J.C. Damron (assist Bryce Balestra) 8:43
SJ – Jackson Rowe (assist Zach Johnson) 2:52
SJ – Jackson Rowe (assist Dru Canter) 17:27
Saves – SJ: 12 (Jimmy Mahlmeister 12); PC: 13 (Shaden Malone 4, Noah Wright 9).
Shots: SJ: 24; PC: 21
Shots on Goal: SJ 17; PC: 12
Corner Kicks – SJ: 9; PC: 2
Fouls – SJ: 7; PC: 5