WHEELERSBURG — Wheelersburg’s boys soccer team has yet to lose when scoring multiple goals in a game during the 2021 season.
The same held true during Tuesday’s 4-1 win over Zane Trace in a Division III district semifinal at Ed Miller Stadium.
The three-goal victory advanced the Pirates (14-4-0) into Saturday’s district final for the fourth consecutive year.
Sophomore Max Hagans scored Wheelersburg’s first goal with 2:33 left in the first half on assists by senior Braxton Rase and sophomore Connor Estep — a score that gave the Pirates a boost before the halftime break, coach Jon Estep said.
“I thought we controlled the ball well, got a lot of balls out of the midfield and got some good shots on goal. Kept pushing at the goal, Max gave us a goal on touches from Connor and Braxton to get us some momentum before half,” he said.
Three goals scored in 20 minutes of game time helped give Wheelersburg additional insurance and, despite a late Pioneer score, a healthy lead that eventually ensured a win.
Senior Jacob Saxby scored with 27 minutes to play in the second half on an assist by Jackson Schwamburger to put the Pirates ahead 2-0.
Senior Nathan Sylvia assisted goals by junior Nolan Wright and Braxton Rase at the 22:54 and 8:48 marks, respectively.
“Thought we came out in the second half with a little more life, energy. Were able to keep pounding at the goal and were able to come away with three pretty quickly,” Estep said.
The Pirates will make the trip to Waverly’s Raidiger Field on Saturday — seeking their second straight D-III district title following last year’s run to the state semifinals.
At the district final stage, the Pirates meet with SOC I champion and familiar postseason foe Valley (16-1-1).
In each of the last three seasons, it was Wheelersburg which defeated the Indians in the district semifinal stage — before competing for district crowns in their next games.
But, earlier this year, it was Valley which bested the Pirates 3-0 at Valley High School back on Sept. 7.
“We know Valley’s played really well all year long. When we met early in the year, it was a big win for them considering our history the last three years. This one’s got a little more meaning with it being the district final — we know they’ll be ready and we’ll prepare over the next few days. We’ve got to do what we need to and try to play the game to our style,” Estep said.
Valley and Wheelersburg will meet in a D-III district final on Saturday at 10:45 a.m. at Waverly’s Raidiger Field.
Reach Jacob Smith at (740) 370-0713 ext. 1930, by email at [email protected], or on Twitter @JacobSmithPDT © 2021 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved