High school soccer: Winfield girls, Hurricane boys move on
ONA, W.Va. -- A smothering sense of deja vu hung over Cabell Midland High School Thursday night.
Last year, with the Class AAA Region 4 championship games played on the artificial turf of Ripley High School's football field, the Winfield girls and Hurricane boys squeaked out one-goal wins to advance to the State Tournament.
On Thursday, with the Class AAA Region 4 championship games played on the artificial turf of Cabell Midland's football field, the Winfield girls defeated Huntington 1-0 in "Golden Goal" overtime and the Hurricane boys beat Huntington 2-1.
If those similarities are not enough to provide a Halloween-worthy chill, the ending of the girls game would.
In last year's Region 4 title game the Generals' Jayne Lawman drove home the game-winner with just 1:11 remaining.
This year Lawman broke a 0-0 tie with a goal at the 1:34 mark of the first sudden-death overtime period for the 1-0 win.
Winfield will take on Buckhannon-Upshur Nov. 2 in the state tournament semifinals at Cline Field at the YMCA Youth Sports Complex in Beckley.
That concluded a frustrating night for Lawman and the Generals (18-1-2) as they controlled the ball for huge chunks of time over the first 103 minutes and 26 seconds with nothing to show for their efforts.
The Highlanders (11-7-4) often packed as many as nine defenders in the box and seemed content to stop Winfield from scoring while putting minimal effort into attacking.
"That is the way I would have played us if I were them," Winfield Coach Marshall Hoff said. "We were getting frustrated, especially Jayne."
Not surprising, considering the third-ranked Generals hung a 9-1 defeat on the 14th-ranked Highlanders in the season opener over two months ago.
"It gets frustrating when you can't finish it off," Lawman said. "We had shot after shot."
After losing a couple of nail biters in the last two state tournaments, Winfield is ready for another shot.
"This is not the same group," Hoff said. "They are different."
So is the Hurricane boys team that will look for that elusive first state soccer championship again now.
The Redskins will face Hedgesville on Nov. 2 in the state tournament semifinals in Beckley.
The top-ranked Redskins (21-0-1) withstood pressure from the third-ranked Highlanders (16-3-1) in the opening half and trailed 1-0 when Kyle Miller scored on a pass from Jameson McCarthy with 19:30 remaining.
"We were on our heels a lot," Hurricane Coach Jim Dagostine said. "We were in danger from the time we kicked off."
The Highlanders got off seven shots before the Redskins finally managed to get one of their own with 12:57 to go in the opening half.
They finally broke through to tie the game with 9:02 remaining on a goal by Felipe Thompson, the Kanawha Valley's leading scorer.
Thompson picked up the game winner with 27:13 left in the game.
Hurricane then withstood a frantic Huntington attack over the final minutes.
"That was probably the most pressure I have seen this year," Redskins' keeper Tim Hayslett said.
He finished with four saves.