History was made at Miami Trace High School Tuesday as senior soccer star Blake Pittser recorded his 56th career goal in a 1-0 victory over the Hillsboro Indians.
The goal, which came on a penalty kick in the second half (33:44 remaining), lifts Pittser’s career scoring mark to an all-time high of 56 goals.
Miami Trace dominated possession the entire match, but a stubborn, tightly-packed Hillsboro defense kept the game within reach.
The match was tied, 0-0 at the end of the first half.
“They chased us the entire game,” Miami Trace head coach Josh Thoroman said. “Their plan was to stop us from scoring and most of game they played nine players inside the penalty box to keep us from scoring.
“The shots were more even than they should have been,” Thoroman said. “Our guys really worked to look for the open shot. Because Hillsboro was packing so many guys back, we weren’t really taking as many shots as we should have. We were looking for the good shot.
“Hat’s off to Hillsboro,” Thoroman said. “As far as hustling, because they did. They worked to get in position to take away our opportunities. It was a dominate performance by our team.
“I want to give props to our defenders,” Thoroman said. “They are juniors Adam Ginn, Preston Huff and Matt Fender, sophomore Drew Batson and senior Nick Elrich. Those are the five guys playing in front of our senior keeper, Tim Kinzler, who recorded four saves out of a total of seven shots from Hillsboro.
“Those guys recorded our sixth shutout of the season,” Thoroman said. “It would be hard to find another Miami Trace team that has won 11 games, had a five-game winning streak (current) and recorded six shutouts in one season.
Miami Trace completes the 2016 regular season with a fine record of 11-4-1. The Panthers placed third in the final SCOL standings at 7-4-1.
The Panthers went 7-10-1 last season, including going 1-1 in the tournament.
First place has still not been decided as Wilmington (undefeated in the league) plays Chillicothe (one league loss) Thursday.
Miami Trace, seeded No. 4 in the Sectional tournament, will host the No. 5 seed Logan Elm (6-5-2) on Thursday, Oct. 20 at 5 p.m. The winner of that match would more than likely play the No. 1 seed Athens in the District semifinals on Tuesday, Oct. 25 at 5 p.m.
Blake Pittser was asked to step out onto the field after the game to be recognized and Athletic Director Aaron Hammond spoke to the crowd.
The following is an excerpt from his remarks.
“On Thursday, Oct. 6 against Washington, two of No. 10’s kicks on goal found the back of the net, in the process tying the MT scoring record and then surpassing it,” Hammond said.
“Blake is much more than a school goal-scoring leader,” Hammond continued. “He is a leader on his team, among his peers and within our student body. Blake is on track to earn 20 varsity letters over his high school career, competing and succeeding in three fall sports.
“Blake has competed at the Division 2 cross country Regional, been recognized by the SCOL in multiple sports and excelled in the classroom, as well,” Hammond said. “Blake is an outstanding ambassador of Miami Trace Local Schools and its athletic programs.”
In addition to soccer, cross country and kicking for the football team, Pittser also plays basketball and is a member of the Miami Trace track team.