BECKLEY, W.Va. - Sissonville erased years of bad memories Saturday when the Indians claimed the school's second girls soccer state championship with a 1-0 win against Bridgeport in the Class AA/A title game.
Last season, it was in the Region 4 title game. Charleston Catholic slipped by Sissonville on penalty kicks to end the Indians' season and advance to the displaced State Tournament at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex.
Two years ago, it was in Beckley with a state championship on the line. The Indians entered the 2011 title game coming off a 6-0 dismantling of Shady Spring in the semifinal. In the final, however, Sissonville came up short in a 3-2 loss to Grafton. Prior to that it was more of the same - years of frustration since the Indians only state championship in 2002.
That all ended Saturday.
"In every championship and every run you've got to have a little bit of luck," Sissonville Coach Ali Sadeghian said. "The girls did a great job as usual. The last three games we played No. 2 (Charleston Catholic), No. 3 (Fairmont Senior) and No. 4 (Bridgeport) and it was a fabulous run but at the same time you've got to have a little bit of luck."
Luck, along with talent and skill, helped propel Sissonville (22-0-3) to an undefeated record this season with a roster stocked with underclassmen. Eleven players return next season for Sadeghian's team, including sophomore standouts Jones and Karli Pinkerton.
"There's no word to describe how much these two girls meant to us this year," Sadeghian said. "Looking forward to repeating that again for the next two years."
Sissonville also will have junior captain Taylor Rhodes, who scored a goal in the semifinal win against Fairmont Senior, and sophomore goalkeeper Brooke Reed, who made big saves in both State Tournament games, back for another run.
"(Reed) doesn't get a lot of credit but she carries the game," Sadeghian said. "If (Bridgeport) had got the first goal it would have been a different story. She got the game for us. She saved us."