CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Catholic surprised many that follow West Virginia high school soccer by upsetting Sissonville in last season's Class AA/A Region 4 girls soccer championship to advance to the state tournament. This season the Irish appear to be back on track for another deep playoff push thanks in no small part to the play and leadership from its bevy of seniors.
Sarah Joseck, Annie Crockett, Anna Whelan, Brianna Ross and Katie Pulliam were all freshmen for the Catholic team that rolled to a state championship in 2010 and Coach Amy Mullen said that experience set the bar for how this senior class wants to finish its high school career.
"We have a great senior class and they are just providing super leadership," she said. "They were the freshmen of the team we had when we went through and won everything. They seen it. They know it's their turn as seniors."
The seniors are not the only class helping fill out the Catholic roster. Sophomores such as Caroline Dundervill, Payton Mullen, Sophie Bumgarner, Jada Bohn, Amanda George and Peyton Keener have helped this year's team prove that the run that ended in the state semifinals with a loss to eventual state champion Bridgeport was no fluke.
"The state tournament was a goal that we had had last year and we were glad to be there," Mullen said. "We were young and Bridgeport was a great team. We were a little star stuck and they just let us have it."
So far this season the Irish have had little trouble in cruising to a 15-0-0 record - including a 3-0 win at Bridgeport on Saturday - but tests against University, George Washington, Hurricane, Fairmont Senior and PikeView remain as well as another potential playoff meeting with Sissonville.
"We look at Sissonville and I'm sure they look at us as well," Mullen said. "We still have a hard schedule ahead of us. It really is one game at a time."
Catholic does not play again until Saturday when it hosts University.
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Sissonville appears more than capable of holding up its end of the bargain for a rematch with Charleston Catholic in the regionals. The Indians are 11-0-1 with the one draw coming in early September against Poca.