Prep soccer: No. 1 George Washington boys blank 2012 champs
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- For George Washington on Tuesday, it only seemed like a matter of time.
The Patriots forced the issue time and again against defending Class AAA state champion Hurricane and got all the offense they needed when Noah Miller's pass from the endline found a waiting Drew Davis, who hammered the ball into the net to give GW a 1-0 win at Trace Force Soccer Complex.
GW (8-0-0), which has not allowed a goal this season, put pressure on the Redskins' back line almost from the opening whistle. However, goalkeeper Tim Hayslett stood tall in keeping the ball out of the Hurricane goal.
"Timmy Hayslett, I'd put him up there with just about any goalkeeper in the state," Hurricane Coach Derek Ragle said. "He's done that many times this year and he's kept us in a lot of ball games. He works hard and gets where he needs to be."
The Redskins (7-2-1) were outshot 18-3 Tuesday as GW, especially early, often settled for long shots to test Hayslett. When Hurricane got its chances more often than not were on counter attacking opportunities led by forwards Guillermo Ugarte and Loran Meadows.
"We like to use counter attacks," Ragle said. "We didn't get that going as well today. (GW) did a good job of marking. They did a good job of finding them once we were on the ball."
Patriots Coach Tom Hopper said his team was aware of the possibility of Hurricane looking for success with counter attacks with the way his team likes to play in control of possession.
"It took us a while to figure out where the people were they were actually going to do the counter attacking," Hopper said. "Once we made that adjustment I think that helped us a lot to shut it down."
Both teams went to the halftime break knowing opportunities had been missed, but when the second half began GW stayed with its strategy of pressure and possession as the Redskins began to unravel.
After the Patriots scored early in the half Hurricane's chances decreased. Hopper said his team has experience dealing with scoring droughts and that he could sense frustration among the Hurricane players after GW took the lead.
"We've played some games where we haven't scored for a while so I think we're pretty accustomed to being patient," he said. "It was starting to get a little frustrating because we had a lot of opportunities.
"I think we frustrated them after a while, at least I could sense some frustration. At the end we just wore them down. Our kids are in good condition and we played well."
Hurricane lost a lot of players from last season's state champions and also saw longtime coach Jim Dagostine retire. This season, with a somewhat inexperienced roster and new coach, there have been highs and lows for the Redskins.
However, Ragle said Tuesday's result showed him that his team was moving in the right direction.
"We've come far," he said. "We played Parkersburg early in the year and were up 3-0 before we ended up losing 7-3. Never in my life have I seen something like that. It was a complete and utter collapse of epic proportions. I thought today showed our growth. This is the best team in the state in my opinion."
The Redskins host South Charleston on Thursday while GW travels to Princeton the same night.
Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4871. Coaches please submit weekly results and statistics by noon on Monday each week to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.