COLUMBUS — The 2019 season started off well Saturday for the Alexander soccer Spartans as they handled business at the Columbus Crew’s Mapfre Stadium.

The Crew often features high school matches as a lead-in to their games and the Spartans capitalized on the opportunity with a 2-0 victory over Gallia Academy. The Athens County boys did somewhat better than their hosts as the Crew managed a 2-2 draw with Chicago.

Tyler Fritchley headed in a perfect crossing pass from Trey Schaller for the first tally early in the match. The junior figured into the second score as well. His lead pass toward the goal was driven into the net by fellow junior Austin Shields a short while later.

Several Spartans had attacking drives throughout the game but could not cash in to increase the score. Conner Truax turned in a solid performance in goal to register the shutout including an athletic save in the mid-point of the first half.

“We had a good outing today and probably should have collected a few more goals,” Spartan coach Kirk Crow commented. “Gallia came out pretty strong for the second half but our defense held together. Playing on the Crew’s pitch is a treat for our guys and we got to watch their match against the Fire afterwards. Altogether, a good start for the year.”

Alexander will travel to South Webster on Tuesday to continue their long rivalry with the always tough Jeeps.

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