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Girls State Soccer Tournament: GW girls upset defending champs

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- George Washington sophomore midfielder Sarah Bodnar started her sentence with three words: "Everyone doubted us."

Bodnar scored a goal against Morgantown in Tuesday's Class AAA semifinals at the Schoenbaum Soccer Complex that was, in multiple ways, unprecedented in the context of the Mohigans' season.

Morgantown, which climbed to as high as No. 20 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll, had recorded 20 shutouts in 23 unbeaten performances and hadn't allowed two goals in a game this season.

Bodnar changed all of that.

Bodnar found the back of the net with 3:56 left of overtime in what proved to be the game-winning goal for George Washington, 2-1 winners of defending champion Morgantown.  

The Patriots (18-4-1) will face Winfield in today's 10 a.m. championship match at Schoenbaum.

"It was an upset, I think, on paper," GW Coach Derek Ragle said. "But I think we're just as good as anybody in the state."

The Patriots proved that Tuesday, first by finding a way to score against the Mohigans' stingy defense. Morgantown hadn't allowed a goal since Sept. 22 - nine games ago.

The scoring opened with senior forward Andrea Breeden, who got the ball past Morgantown goalkeeper Erika Yohn with 19:15 left of the first half.

Yohn, clearly frustrated, picked up the loose ball and punted it while barking at her teammates.

Morgantown Coach Ashley Neal felt her team did not respond.

"We lost our fire, bottom line," she said. "Some people started playing as individuals instead of a team and let the whole team down. There were times when we just fell apart.

"It was heart, was what was missing. It was heart."

Morgantown also lost leading-scorer Maggie Snively, who went to the hospital with an arm or shoulder injury in the first half. Neal had no additional details on Snively's condition, but speculated the injury could be a broken arm or dislocated shoulder.

"It definitely changes our game plan because I don't take that girl out unless we have a 4- or 5-to-nothing lead," Neal said.

Morgantown (22-1-1) tied it with 15:14 left of regulation when senior Payton Southall booted a perfect corner kick into the box that was headed past GW goalkeeper Olivia Miller. Junior Kelsie Hibbs was credited with the goal.

The Mohigans had other chances late in regulation and early in the 20-minute overtime session, but Miller kept giving her team chances. She finished with 12 saves.

Breeden's fancy footwork set up the final goal. She knifed through the Morgantown defense and found Bodnar, who took advantage of a helpless goalkeeper.

"Everyone was in there, it was a big jumble," Yohn said. "She crossed it, went right by me. I tried to get it and there was a girl there to finish. I guess we didn't notice she was there."

Breeden worked the ball past defenders from the right side of the goal.

"I just saw the end line and I saw Sarah at the PK spot and I just knew if I could get it close to her foot she could have a good shot," Breeden said. "I trust her and I knew she'd be there."

George Washington has never won a girls soccer title, although the Patriots reached the finals in 1999 and 2010.

GW lost to Winfield, 4-1, on Oct. 4. The Patriots lost three of their last four regular season games.

"When we started to hit a rough patch in our year, they were the first one we lost to in that stretch and that's when we got really banged up," Ragle said. "Winfield is a physical team and we've got to come out and meet their physicality and meet their intensity.

"I think we're going to have a much better showing."


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