Late in Monday night’s soccer game against Portsmouth, it looked promising for the Piketon Redstreaks to earn their first varsity win in the program’s restart.
Playing at home on the newly resurfaced turf field, the Streaks pushed up to a 3-1 lead before the visiting Portsmouth Trojans came back with three unanswered goals to take the 4-3 win back to Scioto County.
The contest started well enough for the Redstreaks with freshman forward Dane Morgensen putting the first goal on the scoreboard approximately 15 minutes into play. That 1-0 lead continued into intermission.
Starting the second half of play, Portsmouth evened the score. Piketon senior goal keeper Aaron Taylor had a great save of a high sailing Trojan shot, jumping and flipping it over the top of the goal. But the Trojans were able to score on the ensuing goal kick, briefly tying the game at 1-1.
Dane Morgensen did the same for Piketon, scoring after a corner kick to put the Streaks ahead again, 2-1, with 29:39 to play. Six minutes later, sophomore Brandt Thompson broke away from a pack, using his speed to stay in front of the defense and score with a well-placed shot, 3-1.
Portsmouth began its comeback as sophomore Alonso Salinas was able to score with 21:35 to play, cutting the lead to 3-2. Then the Trojans tied it, using a cross pass as an assist to bring the score to 3-3 with 14:52 to play.
With the intensity increasing, both teams fought to be the one that would break the tie. In the end, the Trojans were successful, using a header to notch the final goal and make the lead 4-3 with 2:03 to play.
Piketon’s final chance to tie came with less than 10 seconds to play, as junior Noah Nichols battled toward the goal with a Portsmouth defender right beside him. Nichols was able to get off a contested shot, but it banged off the post of the goal, leaving the score at 4-3.
“It is a challenge to start a soccer program when other schools have had established programs for years,” said Piketon coach Eric Nichols. “There is no low-hanging fruit. We are going to have to work extremely hard to become successful.”
The Redstreaks are still searching for their first varsity win. Their closest taste of success was playing Westfall to a 0-0 draw on Sept. 4. The Redstreaks will head to Hillsboro for a junior varsity game on Wednesday. Then on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at 6 p.m., they will play their first ever game against in-county opponent, the Western Indians, who are playing their first season of high school soccer.