CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- During Charleston Catholic's recently ended unbeaten streak, George Washington proved to be a thorn in the Irish's side.
In each of the last two seasons the Patriots tied Charleston Catholic - 2-2 on Oct. 4 of last year and 1-1 on Oct. 6, 2011. The two renew the rivalry at 7:30 p.m. today at Schoenbaum Stadium.
"In the past we've played them pretty even most years," GW Coach Tom Hopper said. "I think our kids are ready to take care of business but you never know."
The Patriots have only allowed two goals this season and are one of two unbeaten, untied boys soccer teams in the state along with Oak Hill. Hopper said the play of his defense and goalkeeper have been a driving force behind GW's unbeaten run through the majority of the 2013 season.
"Those kids in the back are very, very talented," he said. "They're good defenders. They work well with each other and cover for each other. Garrett (Phillips) in goal is a very pleasant thing to have. He takes care of business back there and when somebody does get by he's able to handle things. And you always have a little bit of luck where they hit the post or hit the cross bar and it doesn't go in."
Catholic Coach Dom Cipollone declined to comment specifically on how the Irish might attempt to break through the Patriots' airtight back line, but was confident in the ability of his strikers.
"Our players are capable, that's all I'm going to say," he said. "We're a little better than everybody thinks we are. It'll be a great game."
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GEORGE WASHINGTON remains in the No. 1 spot in the newest batch of Class AAA boys West Virginia High School Soccer Coaches Association Rankings released Monday.
Oak Hill (14-0-0) is No. 2 this week followed by Morgantown (11-2-2), Parkersburg (12-1-1) and Buckhannon-Upshur (14-10) to round out the top five. South Charleston comes in at No. 12 this week with St. Albans (10-5-1) at No. 15, Winfield (8-6-1) at No. 16 and Hurricane (8-5-1) at No. 17.