Max Hagans
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Brock Netter

Brock is SOSA's primary writer and has worked for the Coshocton Tribune, the Kankakee Daily Journal (Ill.), the Vinton-Jackson Courier and the Jackson Telegram. He's a six-time award-winning journalist, a lifelong WWE fan, a suffering Bengals fan and calls the sidelines his home.

Hagans passes 100-goal mark as Pirates top Minford in key SOC tilt

Hagans now has 101 goals in his career.

Brock Netter, Staff Writer

Southern Ohio Sports Authority is presented by OhioHealth.

WHEELERSBURG — When Wheelersburg’s Max Hagans entered the Pirates’ soccer program, it was a bit unknown where he would eventually play. 

Wheelersburg knew it had a special talent in the ranks with his speed and foot skills. So when he was a sophomore, they put him up top as a forward.

Since that moment, he’s turned in one of the best soccer careers the program has ever seen, and he hit a career milestone on Tuesday. 

Helping his Pirates remain undefeated while knocking off previously unbeaten Minford in a 4-2 victory, the senior netted a hat trick which included his 99th, 100th and 101st career goals.

Max Hagans’ friends and family celebrate his 100th career goal in the stands during Tuesday’s win over Minford.
CREDIT: Brock Netter/SOSA

“It was an exciting moment. I never thought I’d reach that goal back as a freshman since I wasn’t sure position wise where I’d play,” Hagans said. “But I couldn’t have done any of this without my teammates and coaches. We all play a part, so it’s not just me scoring. There’s a lot of things that go into a sequence of scoring, so they deserve a lot of praise as well.” 

Since 2013, Minford (6-1-1) and Wheelersburg (8-0) have combined to go 9-9-4 against one another during the regular season, alongside a combined 1-1 mark in tournament play. 

Needless to say, it’s always a hotly contested match.

But put simply, Hagans stole the show.

After 20 minutes of back-and-forth play, Nick Sylvia sent a perfectly placed cross directly to Hagans, who connected with the back of the net for career goal No. 100 to put the Pirates ahead 1-0. 

“One thing we’ve told each other game after game is, ‘I trust you.’ And we know that if we’re on the same page that nobody can beat us,” Sylvia said. “We know what one another is going to do and we trust that we’ll get the ball to one another. That leads to us scoring and winning games.” 

PHOTOS: Images from Wheelersburg’s win over Minford

Two minutes later, Hagans was back in the center of the storm as he received the ball on a breakaway and struck the net again to push the lead to 2-0 — a lead that remained at halftime. 

“Last year, we were down 2-0 at Minford and came back to tie it up. We knew the same thing could happen since they’re a really good and prideful team,” Wheelersburg coach Jon Estep said. “We were controlling the game, but there was still a long way to go.” 

Minford was ready to battle back and a little over five minutes into the second half, the Falcons got a breakthrough goal off a corner kick. Ashton Reeder connected with Ethan Cordle on a header, trimming the lead to 2-1. 

Minford continued to push and apply pressure, but Sylvia completely flipped the game upside down. Off a direct kick, his shot went underneath Minford’s wall and slid into the bottom right corner for a goal and a 3-1 lead. 

At that point, all momentum shifted towards the Pirates. The bleeding continued later as a shot ricocheted off Minford’s goalie’s hands and right to Hagans, who completed the hat trick and elevated the lead to 4-1. 

WATCH: Max Hagans and Nick Sylvia discuss win

Myles Montgomery scored the final goal of the evening with three minutes left, but the night ultimately belonged to the Pirates. 

“We knew Minford wasn’t going down without a fight, but our guys never quit and finished the job,” Estep said. “It helps to have some electric players on the field, which makes things a lot easier. I couldn’t be more proud of the guys and what they’ve accomplished so far this season. We capitalized on the chances we had and that helped put us in front of the conference for the time being.“ 

Wheelersburg returns to action on Tuesday, hosting South Webster, while Minford rebounds that same evening at South Point.


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