Charleston Catholic first-year girls soccer Coach Amy Mullen knew her youthful Irish would have their fair share of ups and downs during the season while starting five freshmen.
Despite their inexperience, Catholic battled their way through their growing pains, and turned in an impressive season, making it all the way to the State Tournament.
It all caught up with them there Tuesday.
Bridgeport scored less than four minutes into the game and went on to put four goals on the scoreboard in the first 22 minutes in earning an easy 7-0 victory at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex in South Charleston.
The top seeded Indians (18-4-1) advance to the championship game against Fairmont Senior today, again at Trace Fork, 30 minutes after the Class AA/A boys title contest that starts at 10 a.m.
Meanwhile, it was the worst loss of the season for Catholic (15-6-2). The Irish were defeated three times during the regular season by three goals (Wheeling Park 4-1, University 3-0, and Winfield 4-1). All three were against Class AAA teams.
Mullen admitted the nerves might have gotten to her Irish, and that the Bridgeport girls fed off them.
"We are really young and were nervous coming out onto the field, and they (Bridgeport) knew it," Mullen said. "Caroline (Dundervill) even said one of their players said we were scared.
"A lot of our freshmen girls haven't even seen a State Tournament. They've never even seen the national anthem being played and the teams coming out like that. To be here and be a part of it, we were nervous."
Bridgeport's Mikayla Oliverio opened the floodgates with 36:51 left in the first half, and less than five minutes later, Lauren McCarthy scored for a quick 2-0 lead.
The Indians didn't let their foot off the pedal, scoring two more goals in the first half to push an insurmountable lead to 4-0 at halftime. Natalie Prater scored with 19:53 left in the half and Amanda Saymon added one less than two minutes later at the 17:56 mark.
Both coaches admitted that Bridgeport scoring the first goal so early was a major turning point for the game.