High school soccer: Hurricane, Winfield girls pitch shutouts
WINFIELD, W.Va. -- There were no upsets Tuesday night in Class AAA Region 4, section 1, girls soccer semifinals.
In the opening game, fifth-ranked Hurricane (16-2-1) defeated Nitro 3-0 and third-ranked Winfield (16-1-2) rolled over St. Albans 6-0 in the nightcap.
"You respect every opponent," Generals' Coach Marshall Hoff said. "You really do have to take it one game at a time now."
Brittany Minor, Abby Watson, and Kayla McKnight accounted for the Redskins' scoring with keeper Callie McClanahan picking up the shutout without having to make a save.
The Generals received a pair of goals in the first 7 minutes of game two from senior Emily Cole to take a 2-0 halftime lead. Sophomore Jayne Lawman added three goals after the break and Jordan Pauley one as Winfield keeper Faith Burchett also did not need to come up with a save.
That it was Cole who got things rolling for the Generals in their first postseason game of the year may have been the least surprising thing to happen.
Hoff had predicted big things for her when he saw her blazing speed as a freshman, saying she could be an outstanding player if she could control the ball better.
She has done that and more.
"You better believe it," Hoff said. "It's been a great four years watching them all play and grow, especially Emily."
After Tuesday's game she has a team-leading 28 goals on the season.
"To add touch to that speed is tough to do," Hoff said. "She's become poised in play and tough on her feet."
During her first year, she had simpler things to worry about.
"I think every freshman is worried about if they are going to get to play," Cole said.
She was steadily improving until something happened late in her sophomore season.
"In Point Pleasant when I scored and we beat Huntington for the regional championship," Cole recalled. "That was kind of my shining moment."
It was also a turning point for her.
"That gave me confidence," Cole said. "I knew I could keep up and could do what everyone else could."
She scored a key goal again last season in the regional final last season against Parkersburg at Ripley and finished the season with 11.
Then, this year, everything has come together.
"I've worked extremely hard," Cole said. "Learning how to possess the ball and having the skills to do something with it."
She and Lawman have developed into a formidable tandem up front.
Lawman has 25 goals after finishing last season with 20 - which was second on the team.
"They have great chemistry," Coach Hoff said. "They really work well together."
Besides becoming the team's leading scorer Cole has also become a leader.
"I want to be the best example I can be," she said. "I remember how much I looked up to the seniors."
With several key players graduating last spring Hoff was happy to see Cole ready to take on more responsibility.
"You have to have that player step up," he said.
After coming agonizingly close to a state championship twice there is no doubt about where Cole would like to lead the Generals.
"We're all working towards the states," she said. "That's all we're working for."
Winfield lost 1-0 to Morgantown on penalty kicks in last year's state championship game. In 2010 the Generals lost in the semifinals on a goal with 17 seconds left to play.
Something Cole thinks about pretty often.
"Oh yes," she said. "Every single day."
But first comes a 7 p.m. sectional final game against rival Hurricane.
The teams tied 3-3 during the season.
"This will be an all out battle," Hoff said.
One for which Cole is well prepared.
In boys action:
Winfield 2, Point Pleasant 0 - The Generals advanced to the Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 title game with the shutout win over the Big Blacks (9-7-2).
Steven Taylor and Preston Sheldon netted goals for Winfield (14-4-2).
Charleston Catholic 6, Herbert Hoover 0 - Six different Irish players scored goals in a Class AA/A Region 4, Section 2 semifinal win over the Huskies (6-13-2).
William Scriptunas scored a goal and added an assist, while Noah Cable, Adam Fox, Joey Trupo, Philip Mallory and Roger Burdette each scored goals.
Fox also had two assists for Catholic (19-0-2), which will face St. Joseph on Thursday for the sectional title.
St. Joseph 4, Sissonville 1 - Christian Yablonsky's two goals helped propel the Irish to the Class AA/A Section 2 semifinal win.
Stephen Jenkins and Brian Conaty also had goals for St. Joe.
For Sissonville, Anthony Rinehart netted the lone goal with an assist from Hunter White.
St. Joe will face Catholic at 7:30 p.m. Thursday for the section title.
Hurricane 6, Nitro 1 - Felipe Thompson poured on the offense, scoring three goals to advance the Redskins through the sectional.
Corey Tornes dropped in the lone goal for the Wildcats.