Potters’ Kidder helps OVAC boys win All-Star game
ST. CLAIRSVILLE — The Ohio boys’ soccer team delivered a 6-2 win over West Virginia on Sunday at Red Devil Stadium in the 21st Annual Senior All-Star Classic.
The win gives Ohio its first OVAC All-Star victory since 2010, and Ohio coach Steve Kopcha of Steubenville Central could not be happier for his team.
“We challenged our guys before the game and told them that Ohio hasn’t won this game very often,” Kopcha said. “We knew we had the talent and ability to do it, and our kids believed in us and believed in each other and got the job done.”
St. Clairsville’s Bailey Balcar earned offensive MVP honors on his home turf with two goals and an assist in the victory.
“He is a talented player,” Kopcha said. “He was playing on his home field and we were counting on the St. Clairsville kids to lead us a little bit. His two goals were big for us.”
Balcar scored his two goals in the first half to give Ohio a 2-0 advantage at halftim.
Ohio continued to roll in the second half with 30:53 on the clock when Union Local’s Isiah Meyer beat the West Virginia goalkeeper and slid towards the net while delivering the successful shot to extend the Ohio lead to 3-0.
Moments later at the 28:00 mark, East Liverpool’s Dylan Kidder found the back of the net for Ohio on a Balcar assist.
Steubenville’s Marc Porter, who earned defensive MVP honors for Ohio, did some damage on offense as well. With 19:22 left, he collected the rebound after a shot bounced off the post, and he buried it into the back of the net to give his Ohio squad a 5-0 edge.
West Virginia got on the scoreboard with 10:14 left in the match when John Marshall’s Riley Glines beat the Ohio keeper to give the Mountaineers a chance late in the contest.
Any chance of a West Virginia comeback was erased with 6:04 left in the match when Indian Creek’s Zack Neeley tallied the final goal for Ohio.
West Virginia recorded one more goal coming from Linsly’s Stephen Dlesk with 3:27 to go, but it was too late for the Mountaineers.
“Everyday is a learning experience, and what I learned today is how great these kids are from other teams,” West Virginia coach Eric Fries of Linsly said. “There is some tremendous talent out here from all different schools from the West Virginia side and it is fun to have them on my side since I have been playing against them for so long. It is always an exciting time.”
The offensive MVP for West Virginia was Morgantown’s Paul Lawer-Yolar and the defensive MVP on the Mountaineer club was Weir’s Michael Gresko.
“It feels like all of my hard work has paid off in the end,” Gresko said. “We had a tough end to our season so it felt good to get recognized. Its an honor.
“I have to give it to my teammates as well. They helped me so much throughout the year. I played forward all season so winning defensive MVP was a surprise.”