"Our girls are out of shape," GW coach Megan Johnson said. "That's what it was. As much as I've been working them hard and running them, it wasn't quite enough. I told the girls this is the beginning of the season so it's good to make mistakes now because sectionals, regionals, states - that's when it matters. This was a lesson for them."
When these teams met in the state championship game last season at Schoenbaum Stadium, they battled to a 2-2 tie through the end of regulation before the Generals found the goal twice for a 4-2 win and the first state title for the program since 1997. On Tuesday the teams looked every bit equals until the final 10 minutes.
"They're a good team," Hoff said. "You'll need 80 minutes to try and find one on a good team."
Winfield goalkeeper Braiden Maddox was not called on often Tuesday. The senior only had to make one save, which was a testament to the Generals defense forcing GW to take less than ideal shots that rarely required Maddox to make a play. On the other end, Miller turned away six shots in net for the Patriots before Winfield started poking holes in the GW defense late. For the game Winfield outshot GW 11 to 3.
"I'm glad we played Winfield so early in the season," Johnson said. "This is where I can fix things that need to be worked on."
GW's next game is a home contest scheduled for Thursday against Nitro. Winfield also returns to action Thursday with the Generals scheduled to visit Riverside.
Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.br...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.