DRAFFENVILLE – Nathan Solomon felt the Marshall County defense was solid in a victory Thursday night over District 2 rival Graves County, but revealed something about Marshall County coach Andy Pagel’s philosophy.
“Coach says our offense is our best defense,” the junior forward said.
Solomon pushed his season total to 11 goals with a pair of scores in the 4-1 win over the Eagles.
That was the second of two district victories the Marshals scored last week. Murray fell 4-1 on Sept. 17, with Solomon again leading the way with two goals.
The wins were the third and fourth in the last five matches for the Marshals, who are 8-5 and 4-1 in the district.
The win over Graves avenged a 3-2 loss against the Eagles Aug. 27 in Mayfield.
“We weren’t ready last game,” Solomon said.
Pagel agreed. “We blew it last time,” the Marshals coach said.
On Thursday night, the Marshals were on top of their game. Solomon gave them a 1-0 lead 14 minutes in, finishing an offensive flurry around Eagles goalkeeper Caleb Pickens. Blaine Skeen got the assist.
Midway in the period, Graves tied it on a looping kick by Rodrigo Garcia. But with seven minutes left before intermission, Solomon chased the ball into the right corner and sent a kick toward the goal. It didn’t go in, but Skeen was there to head the ball into the net as Graves attempted to clear it.
The Marshals then clamped down on Graves, adding second-half goals by Garrison Wagner and the final point by Solomon, on a header from an assist by Dalton Morton.
Pagel felt the match was the best sustained play for his team this year.
“We haven’t played 80 complete minutes like that,” he said. “That was a statement our guys wanted to make.”
Against Murray, David Penney and Travis Tucker added goals to Solomon’s two scores. The Marshals ran up a 4-0 lead before Murray got on the board late in the game.
THIS WEEK: The Marshals are at home against Hopkinsville on Thursday and then host the Orange Classic, sponsored by Calvert City Insurance and Heritage Bank, at Colburn Stadium on Saturday.
Varsity matches include Marshall versus McCracken County at 10 a.m. and Sikeston (Mo.) against Massac County (Ill.) at noon.