Prep soccer: Class AAA regionals set for Tuesday
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Two Kanawha Valley schools will attempt to make it a clean sweep in boys and girls Class AAA regional soccer championship games today when Winfield and George Washington seek spots in next weekend's State Tournament in Beckley.
In Region 3, the Patriots face Woodrow Wilson in both boys and girls games today at Trace Fork Soccer Complex. The GW boys entered the postseason as the No. 1 team in the West Virginia High School Soccer Coaches Association rankings and own a 3-1 win against the Flying Eagles from late September.
"I'm not sure what the psyche of the boys is but I'm sure they're excited to be there," GW Coach Tom Hopper said. "Woodrow has a quality team and I'm sure they'll be ready to play and so will we."
The Patriots (20-0-2) had a scare in the Region 3 Section 1 championship game Saturday when South Charleston pushed them to the brink in a 4-3 GW win. The Black Eagles had an answer for each Patriots' goal but could not equalize the game after the fourth.
"We just didn't play extremely well," Hopper said. "We gave up a lot of fouls that resulted in free kicks for them and things kid of mushroomed."
The George Washington girls (18-2-2), ranked No. 4 by the WVHSSCA, reached today's regional round with relative ease. Kasey Rhodes scored twice while Kate Eddy, Taylor Ellis, Sarah Bodnar, Hannah Ellis and Elisha Davis each tallied one goal in the Patriots' 7-0 win against Riverside in the Region 3, Section 1 final.
"I think that the team is playing great," GW Coach Megan Johnson said. "We peaked at the right time of the season."
The Patriots' defense played well down the stretch, allowing three goals in the final 10 regular season games, including a 2-1 win against Class AA/A power Charleston Catholic, a 0-0 draw against former Class AAA state champion Morgantown and a 5-0 win against today's opponent - Woodrow Wilson.
"Woodrow is a strong team and that was a rough game," Johnson said. "I know they're going to be out for blood when they play us again."
The boys game between GW and Woodrow Wilson is scheduled for 5 p.m with the girls game to begin 30 minutes after its conclusion.
* * *
WINFIELD WILL try to complete the sweep in Region 4 when the defending Class AAA girls state champion plays Spring Valley and the boys face Huntington.
The Winfield girls (18-1-1) have been at or near the top of the WVHSSCA rankings all season and powered past Hurricane for a third time this season to push the team within one win of another state tournament appearance. In their only meeting this season, Winfield beat Spring Valley 4-1 on Oct. 1
On the boys side, Winfield (8-9-1) enters today's contest against Huntington looking to even its record in the process of advancing to the state tournament. The Generals and Highlanders played to a 1-1 draw on Sept. 19.
Both Region 4 games are at Point Pleasant with the boys scheduled to start at 5 p.m and the girls game starting 30 minutes the conclusion of the boys game.
* * *
THE REGION 1 championships take place at Wheeling Island Stadium today with Parkersburg (17-1-3) taking on Morgantown (17-3-1) on the boys side and the Mohigans' girls (15-1-4) playing Parkersburg South (12-7). In Region 2, the Jefferson boys (16-2-2) play Buckhannon-Upshur (20-2) while the Elkins girls (14-3-3) face Washington (14-3-3). Both games will be at Musselman High School.
The pairings for the state tournament have the Region 1 and Region 4 winners playing in one semifinal while Region 2 and Region 3 will be in the other for both the boys and girls.
Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-4871.