Prep soccer: Irish girls exact revenge for 2011 upset
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Charleston Catholic girls soccer program was the best of the best in Class AA/A during a three-year run in which the Irish captured state titles (2008-10).
That streak came to an unceremonious end last October when the Irish were bounced from the postseason in a 1-0 loss to Poca in sectional championship play.
Thanks to an influx of talented freshmen, Catholic made sure there would be no repeat performance this postseason.
The Irish jumped to an early lead and never let up in cruising to a 12-2 win over the Dots in the Region 4, Section 2 championship game at the Trace Fork soccer complex.
For Catholic (14-5-2), its first 11 goals were scored by freshmen before senior Hannah George closed out the scoring with 12:50 left in the match.
Poca, which scored both of its goals in the first half, ended its season at 10-11-2.
The Irish will face Sissonville for the Region 4 title, Tuesday evening at Ripley High School. The match will start approximately a half-hour after the boys regional, which is set to begin at 5:30.
Speedy freshman Caroline Dundervill led the Irish attack with four goals, including the match's first score less than 8 minutes in.
Dundervill added two more goals in the first half and netted her fourth with 30:51 left to play.
"Our freshmen did what we needed them to do and put the ball in," Irish Coach Amy Mullen said. "It's always nice to get Caroline going to the races and she can put the ball in the goal."
Despite last season's disappointing loss, Mullen was a little worried about her team's mindset given that the Irish defeated Poca 7-0 earlier this season.
"We talked about it the first time we played them and I was so afraid they would try to live off what we did the first time," said Mullen. "I did not want them to underestimate them (Poca) because they don't give up. We just had to relax and play our game and continue to work to put the ball in the goal."
Irish junior keeper Annie Crockett shared Mullen's apprehension.
"We had last year in mind, but being a new team, we took it as a new challenge," Crockett said. "After beating them earlier I was worried we might be a little cocky, but we watched them play last night and realized that they really improved over the season. I'm glad we were able to focus the whole game and meet the challenge."
Freshmen Payton Mullen, Sophie Bumgarner and Peyton Keener scored two goals apiece for Catholic, while freshman Sarah Fox added a single goal.
Keener and Mullen also collected assists.
For Poca, which was outshot 24-8, Harley Hutchins and Marissa Perkins netted first half goals for the Irish, who built a 9-2 halftime lead.
"After last year we had that great year, we lost six seniors, we're starting freshmen and starting a couple of girls that never really played soccer," Poca Coach Mike Shrewsbury said. "I think you saw the difference out there tonight. They had 11 athletes that were skilled, we probably had about half the team that was skilled. They can make passes up and down the field and if we make three touches, we've done well.
"That was the difference. We were just outplayed and the skill levels ... it was day and night."
* * *
SISSONVILLE FRESHMAN Madison Jones scored three goals Monday night, leading the Indians (20-2) to a 4-1 win over Herbert Hoover (13-6-2) in the Class AA/A Region 4, Section 1 championship at Falling Rock.
Sissonville scored twice in each half, and while Hoover standout goalkeeper Bailey Aab was able to keep 2011 Kanawha Valley Player of the Year Lydia Murray off the scoreboard in a 15-save performance, it was Jones who provided all the damage that was necessary. With the win, the Indians advance to Tuesday's Region 4 final at Ripley.
In boys sectional games Wednesday:
South Charleston 1, Capital 0 - SC goalkeeper Hunter Moles stopped four shots and made a first-half goal by Chris Brown stand up in putting the Black Eagles (14-4-1) into the Class AAA Region 3, Section 1 title game with a win over Capital (5-9-4).
Isaac Cosby assisted on Brown's goal, and SC will take on rival George Washington on Saturday at Trace Fork Fields.
George Washington 2, Riverside 0 - The Patriots (14-5-2) got goals from Andrew Wells and Noah Miller in the first half, and keeper Garrett Phillips had to stop just one shot to preserve a shutout over the Warriors (6-11-2).