POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. — It’s different in the postseason.
After posting a 7-2 win three days earlier in the regular season finale, the Point Pleasant boys soccer team had to rally back from an early deficit and ultimately held on Tuesday night for a 2-1 decision over fourth seeded Ravenswood in the semifinal round of the Class AA-A Region IV, Section 1 tournament held at Ohio Valley Bank Track and Field.
The top seeded Black Knights (12-3-5) picked up their seventh consecutive victory in as many matches while also improving to 8-0-3 in the friendly confines of OVB Field this fall.
Midway through the first half, however, the Red Devils (10-8-1) had a little luck work in their favor.
Point Pleasant attempted the first seven shots of regulation, four of which ended up on goal — but the hosts had nothing to show for their efforts.
Shortly afterwards, RHS produced its first shot attempt before arriving at a free kick from around 30 yards out. Mason Butler bent the shot from right to left and found the upper half of the net for a 1-0 edge in the 22nd minute.
PPHS countered 10 minutes later as Adam Veroski netted a rebound from 10 yards away, forcing a 1-all tie headed into the intermission.
The Black Knights outshot the guests by a sizable 13-4 margin in the first half, but only managed 7-3 cushion in shots on goal. The hosts accounted for eight corner kicks in the first half and finished the night with all 16 corner kicks in the game.
Point Pleasant needed only two shot attempts in the second half to ultimately put the game away. Veroski ran down a perfect sideline pass from Brayden Randolph 10 yards away from the front and buried a shot into the low left side of the goal, giving PPHS a 2-1 lead with 36:57 left in regulation.
Things got a little hectic from that point, as each squad earned a yellow card over the next seven minutes of play.
Veroski also missed a hat trick chance after having a penalty kick blocked with 35 minutes left in regulation.
Ravenswood received a second yellow card with 8:04 remaining, setting up a free kick from 18 yards out.
Point huddled in front of the ball and released to the goal as Braxton Watkins-Lovejoy lobbed the ball so that it would bounce in front of the RHS keeper. Peyton Hughes ran down the bounce and buried the shot, but the goal was disallowed due to an offsides call.
The Black Knights turned up the defensive intensity in the second half after outshooting the guests by a 17-1 overall margin, including a 12-1 edge in shots on goal.
Overall, Point claimed a 30-5 advantage in shots, including 19-4 on goal. Both teams were whistled for 10 fouls apiece, with the Red Devils amassing three of the four yellow cards in the game.
Nick Smith made three saves in goal for the Black Knights, who advance to face Sissonville in the championship match at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. The Indians defeated Williamstown by a 2-1 margin in the other semifinal at OVB Field Tuesday night.
Blake Bibbee stopped 15 shots in net for Ravenswood.
Notes: The Point Pleasant girls soccer team had its season end on Tuesday night following a 2-0 setback to host Sissonville in the semifinal round of the Class AA-A Region IV, Section 1 tournament. SHS hosts Williamstown in the Section 1 final on Thursday. The Lady Knights finished the year with an 11-8-3 mark.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.