By Michael Rich
Mark Milholland scored, Matt Schmenk added a late second-half goal and the Delaware Hayes boys soccer team couldn’t get over the hump, falling to Marysville 2-0 on Thursday night at Gauthier Stadium in Delaware.
The Pacers (2-4) controlled the ball for much of the first 10 minutes of the opening half, but Schmenk beat his man on the left sideline and then found Milholland streaking down the middle, fed him a perfect lead pass and Milholland beat Hayes keeper Jonah Robinson to the left corner.
“Marysville is a strong program,” Hayes coach Joshua Diehl said. “They’re very good … we did everything we could to limit their chances, but the chances they got, they punished us.”
Monarch goalie Mason Taylor made a key diving stop after a defender had fallen in his own goal box, freeing up a Connor Dertsine shot toward the left corner. Taylor had six saves for the Monarchs (4-2-1).
The first goal came about 13 minutes into the game and was the first shot on goal by either team, though Hayes’ Brandon Becker missed left a couple of minutes earlier with a header attempt.
The Pacers controlled much of the second half, but Schmenk’s goal, which went high to the right side of the net, put it out of reach with about eight and a half minutes left in the game.
“Everyone’s attitude has been very hungry and very positive and very driven, but still, things haven’t gone our way,” Diehl said. “It’s been very emotionally exhausting for these guys because we’re challenging them to keep caring and not shut down. To their credit, their doing everything right.”
Robinson had three saves for the Pacers.
The win was the third consecutive shutout for the Monarchs in the series. Hayes has not scored since the two schools tied 3-3 in 2012.
“They really took it to us (last year),” Diehl said. “As a coach, you try to psychologically guide them past it – you can’t ignore it. I don’t think that’s a barrier for us. How we approached the game, we really believed that we could win.”
The Pacers return to action next Tuesday night when they host Grove City at 7:15 p.m.
Follow Michael Rich on Twitter @mrichdelgazette.