www.charlestondailymail.com Prep Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers PREP SOCCER: Catholic boys clinch sectional title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029615 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029615 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:46:10 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Charleston Catholic scored eight unanswered goals, including seven in the second half, to crush Sissonville 8-1 in the boys Class AA/A Region 4, Section 2 soccer championship Wednesday at Schoenbaum Stadium.

Sissonville actually had a 1-0 for nearly 35 minutes of the first half after Dougie Harding scored the first goal of the game, but the Irish came roaring back beginning with a goal by Michael Gilmore that left the score tied at halftime. From there Roger Burdette netted three second-half goals and Joey Trupo added two goals and an assist to spark the rout.

Catholic (18-1-1) had 17 shots on goal to the Indians' (7-11-2) five, and will move on to the Region 4 championship game Oct. 28 at Ripley High School.

Winfield 8, St. Albans 0 - The Generals raced to a six-goal lead in the first half, overwhelming the visiting Red Dragons in Winfield Wednesday in a Region 4 Section 1 semifinal game. Steven Taylor lead the Generals with five goals, while Nathan Keefe added two more. Jesse Richmond notched three assists in the victory. The Generals advance to face Nitro on Saturday at 3 p.m. in Winfield.

George Washington 2, Capital 1 - Patriots forward Chase Eller scored the opening goal of the Region 3 Section 1 semifinal game off an assist from Jonah Cosby.

After Capital's Tyler Shaffer scored a second half equalizer, the Patriot tandem would reverse roles, with Cosby scoring the game-winning goal off an assist from Eller with 18 minutes remaining in the game. With the win, George Washington advances to play South Charleston Saturday at 4 p.m. in Ripley.

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PREP SOCCER: Catholic girls blank St. Joseph http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029619 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029619 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 22:18:08 -0400 By Chris Wade The Charleston Catholic girls soccer team entered sectional play with losses in their last two games, but both came against Class AAA powers - Hurricane and two-time defending champion Winfield.

The Irish got back to their winning ways, earning a comfortable 5-0 victory over St. Joseph in Class AA/A Region 4, Section 2 semifinal on a chilly Wednesday evening at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex.

Catholic (14-3-2 ) advances to the sectional title game against Scott on Saturday at 11 a.m., also at Trace Fork. The Skyhawks upset No. 2 seed Poca 5-1 in the first semi-final clash.

Catholic coach Amy Mullen hopes a tough schedule, which includes eight Class AAA schools, including the last four and five of the past six Irish contests, has her team ready for postseason play.

"It has got us ready for the postseason," said Mullen, of the schedule. "The last two games were really rough. We were ahead at the half but couldn't pull through. You can't go forward without losses and learning from them."

Catholic played without leading scorer Caroline Dundervill, who was out sick, but junior Sophie Bumgarner more than picked up the slack, finishing with three goals.

"Caroline was sick and it hurt not having her, but we all needed to see we can do other things and have other scoring opportunities," Mullen said. "It was fantastic to see Sophie score three goals, and all of them in the air. It was very nice. There is nothing better than that."

Bumgarner had the first three goals for the Irish, all on headers, in a first half that saw Catholic lead St. Joseph 4-0, with Peyton Mullen adding the other scoring tally.

Bumgarner was happy to get a hat trick, and help her team out in Dundervill's absence.

"It felt great, I have never had one before," Bumgarner said. "I definitely felt like we needed to come together more because Caroline is a major part of our team. We all did great and succeeded."

Despite losses to Winfield and Hurricane in the last week of the regular season, Catholic sees the games as huge positives, considering they led both games at the half, and competed against two of the better teams in any class.

"A lot of teams will hold off and play easy teams but I think it helps better to play tougher competition," Bumgarner said. "We lost but they definitely made us better and I think they will help us."

"Winfield is the best team and are really solid all around," Mullen added. "It was a nice eye opener that we could compete. We needed that."

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PREP SOCCER: Nitro boys rout Hurricane 6-0 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029634 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029634 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 20:52:12 -0400 By Tom Bragg Hurricane had control of its Class AAA boys Region 4, Section 1 semifinal soccer game at Nitro City Park on Wednesday for the first 30 minutes, but once Nitro found the back of the net it did not let up in a 6-0 win against the Redskins.

Hurricane (8-11-2) opened the game by controlling possession for most of the first 30 minutes. Senior Loran Meadows found space in the Nitro defense several times during that span but was turned away by Wildcats' junior goalkeeper Chris Klocke on each occasion.

Late in the half, Nitro grabbed the lead in the 36th minute when senior Chase Kirk found enough space to fire a shot from 35 yards out. Kirk added to the Wildcats lead in the 40th minute when another long shot squirted through the hands of Hurricane goalkeeper Dalton Burch with 54 seconds to play in the half.

"We definitely, I think, outplayed them for 30 minutes," Hurricane coach Coert Vorhees Jr. said. "Then I feel like not getting anything out of that deflated them and then when that goal hit it crashes your morale. But we've been through worse so I thought that was kind of odd."

Nitro added to its lead in the 46th minute when freshman Seth Jordan's pass got behind the Hurricane defense and found the feet of senior Alec Miller, who beat the goalkeeper one on one.

The Wildcats midfield took over control of possession as the second half progressed, with Klocke forced into action just one time in the half after making five saves in the first half.

"(Klocke) does absolutely excellent for us," Nitro coach Ryne Eich said. "He's a leader on our team and he's just an animal back there. Of all the teams we've played this year, I think he's the best keeper in the state just from what I've seen. He gives us everything we need from him."

Vorhees said that while Hurricane had chances to score early in the game, it needed to do more with them against the Wildcats' goalkeeper.

"He's a very good goalkeeper," he said. "You've got to play a lot better than just simple stuff."

The Wildcats (11-4-3) added three goals in the final 20 minutes. Burch turned away shots from Miller and a rebound from Jordan but could not stop a third attempt by sophomore Derek Waugh in the 63rd minute. Burch turned away another chance by Miller in the 68th minute but Jordan followed the rebound again, this time for a goal. With six minutes to play Nitro's Chase Jarrett converted a penalty kick after a Hurricane hand ball inside the penalty area to close the scoring.

"That first part they were definitely dominating us," Eich said. "Sometimes it takes us a little bit to get started, but once we get started we get going like we did. Once we got that first goal we fed off of it."

Nitro advances to play at defending Region 4 champion Winfield in the sectional title game at 3 p.m on Saturday. The Generals defeated St. Albans 8-0 in Wednesday's other sectional semifinal.

Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.bragg@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.

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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Hurricane girls seek regional title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029695 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141022/DM03/141029695 Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:24:42 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Atop the Class AAA rankings and fresh from capturing the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship, the Hurricane girls cross country team enters its regional championship as the favorite in quest of the program's seventh consecutive title.

The Redskins, ranked No. 1 according to www.runwv.com, list annually among West Virginia's top girls squads and this year's team continues the trend. Hurricane will host the AAA Region 4 championship Thursday, while other area runners will compete in the AAA Region 3 and AA/A Region 4 meets to be hosted by Greenbrier East and Charleston Catholic respectively.

"For us, everything is about our championship season and I felt like we got the ball rolling really well on the girls side last week," Redskins coach Jason Henley said. "We had a very strong performance at our conference championships placing four girls in the top five and our fifth girl in the top 10. We feel like we're on track for what we want to do."

The Redskins' "core of four" in returners Joie Johnston, Abbie Short and 2013 All-State honoree Anna Gordon, as well as freshman Jenna Crouch will look to lead the Hurricane effort again. The quartet finished in positions two through five consecutively at the MSAC meet and each ranks among the state's top 13 runners.

In addition to Hurricane, two other Region 4 girls teams are expected to advance to the state meet, with fifth-ranked Winfield and No. 9 Cabell Midland likely to claim those spots. Junior Rachael Englund lists 10th statewide, with freshman Alexis Imperial 17th for the Generals.

Individually, St. Albans sophomore Rachel Beck, 25th-ranked, is expected to contend for a state qualifying spot, also.

On the boys' side, the same trio of teams is expected to advance, with No. 2 Midland the top regional squad, as the Knights list one point behind University in statewide ratings.

Like the Hurricane girls, the Midland boys, winners of 15 straight regional championships, lead with talent and depth. Junior Nick Salmons ranks highest among Knights runners at ninth in the state, though eight different Midland harriers rate among the state's top 30.

Third-ranked Hurricane boasts four athletes among the state's top 26, with senior Jake Henley and sophomore Alex Hughes leading the squad at 13th and 14th respectively. Should Hurricane advance to the state meet, it will mark just the program's third-ever trip as a team, with the Redskins previously qualifying in both 2012 and 2013.

At Winfield, junior R.J. Weiford, ranked 8th in the state, is expected to lead the No. 9 Generals.

With a solid top-to-bottom effort, St. Albans could also threaten to advance, with the Red Dragons led by junior Jon Sandy (22nd) and sophomore Josh Endres (29th).

Class AAA Region 3

Capital senior Peyton Panger represents the class of Region 3, in addition to the state, as she has maintained her No. 1 ranking throughout the season.

Woodrow Wilson's Emily Fedders, ranked fourth, poses Panger's best competition, though Panger has won with comfortable margins in multiple meetings this season.

While Panger paces the Cougars, the team's talent doesn't end with her.

"We have two juniors, Riley Simmerman and Mary Keeton Lane, that are really strong up front," coach Jared Smith said. "They really give Peyton a lot of support. They work well together and they're very strong."

The Cougars girls, ranked 10th in the state, and boys teams expect to contend for the regional titles in what could be a banner day for Capital. Greenbrier East will provide Capital tough competition on the girls side, with George Washington and Ripley vying as the third team to advance, Smith said.

Senior Michael Ruhnke leads the Capital boys after finishing fourth at the MSAC title meet.

"All the work is paying off finally and he really shocked everybody at conference and beat some of the best in the state," Smith said of Ruhnke. "I really feel Michael - Lord's willing - if he makes it to the state meet, he's a possible All-State contender."

Ruhnke, ranked 20th in AAA, is expected to battle Oak Hill's Cody Gillespie, 12th-best in the state, for the individual regional crown. Tenth-ranked Ripley and Oak Hill are expected to contest Capital as the top boys squads.

Class AA/A Region 4

Buffalo junior Hayden Harrison highlights the region as the top returning runner after finishing third at the 2013 state meet. Harrison ranks as the best AA/A boys runner statewide.

Harrison will be challenged by ninth-ranked Glenn McMillan of Wirt County, Roane County senior Caleb Pell (13th), Nicholas County's Matt Christiansen (14th) and Herbert Hoover senior Josh McClung (19th).

At the team level, the No. 4 Charleston Catholic girls represent the top local squad competing.

The defending state runner-up Irish ran strong this season despite the early season loss of one of the squad's top runners in Payton Mullen.

"They're doing pretty well," Catholic coach Scott Welch said. "I was hoping we would be a little bit further advanced than we are."

Sophomores Hannah Gacek and Lia Preston and junior Peyton Keener each rank among the top 27 statewide.

Though Ravenswood does not maintain enough runners to qualify a full team, seniors Hailey Miller and Taylor Treadway each rank among the state's top 10.

Catholic and Nicholas County represent the two girls teams expected to advance, Welch said. For the boys, fourth-ranked Nicholas County and No. 8 Wirt County will fight for the top position. As many as four boys teams could advance, Welch said, with Buffalo, Catholic and Roane County battling for the final two team positions.

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PREP SOCCER PLAYOFFS: Sissonville, Charleston Catholic boys advance http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029743 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029743 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:41:12 -0400 By Michael Dailey CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It's put up or shut up time for high school soccer teams across the state.

Sectional tournament play began this week, where a loss means the end of the season.

That's what the four remaining Class AA/A Region 4, Section 2 boys teams faced Tuesday evening at soggy and chilly Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium.

When the last whistle blew, it was Sissonville and Charleston Catholic that emerged with wins and a subsequent matchup in the sectional title game at 5:30 p.m. today.

No. 16 Sissonville (7-10-2) opened the evening with a 3-1 win over No. 11 Scott (13-5-3), while third-ranked Catholic (16-1-1) took the nightcap by a 7-0 score over No. 18 St. Joseph (8-10-3).

The Indians, who entered the contest with a 1-6-1 record in its final eight games, began to turn things around with 21:49 left in the first half when Chase McVey scored the first of two goals to give Sissonville a 1-0 lead.

"That was huge," Sissonville coach Chuck Gary said. "We'd been playing from behind most of this season and the boys tend to get down when they come from behind.

"Getting that first goal was tremendous."

The Indians took that lead into the half before the Skyhawks knotted the score in the second half on a Nick Raby goal at the 35:41 mark.

Raby's goal was the first goal Scott scored in three matches against Sissonville this season.

The two teams played to a scoreless tie, before Sissonville earned a 5-0 win in mid-September.

"They've kind of been that monkey on the back for the last four years," Scott coach Zack Boyd said. "It's a team that we've never beaten. I thought we had a better shot than we did coming into it, but we just didn't play up to par to where we needed to be today."

The tie lasted just 21 seconds as McVey answered with an unassisted goal at 35:20.

"Getting that first goal was tremendous," Gary said. "But answering their goal right back, just put the icing on the cake."

Sissonville's Dougie Harding closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 25:10 remaining.

Gary was particularly pleased with the Indians' defensive effort, in limiting Scott to just two shots on goal.

"Our defense played very well," Gary said. "We've given up a lot of goals this season, but tonight they really stepped up at the right time."

In the nightcap, the Irish continued their quest for five state titles in the last six years behind five goals from Joey Trupo.

Trupo's goals, four of which came in the second half, gives him a school-record 104 goals, besting the 102 goals his brother Tommy scored for the Irish.

Trupo scored the only goal of the first half with 19:10 to play, before the Irish erupted for six goals in the final 40 minutes.

"It was a great first half and a not so great second," St. Joe coach Chuck Karnes said. "We didn't tackle very well in the back and they had some really nice looks.

"We kind of had a feeling it was just a matter of time. They possessed the ball well the entire game and they were getting opportunities. They came to play the second half and we backed off."

Roger Burdette and Anthony Cipollone added single goals for Catholic, while keeper Patrick Kline recorded the shutout.

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PREP SOCCER: Hoover girls fall in sectional; Sissonville victorious http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029744 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141021/DM03/141029744 Tue, 21 Oct 2014 22:12:28 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Sydney Hill fed Lauren Petty with the only goal of the second half on Tuesday to lift Williamstown to a 3-2 girls soccer victory over Herbert Hoover (16-5) in the Class AA Region 4, Section 1 tournament at Ravenswood.

Hill was responsible for all of the goals for Williamstown (13-5-0), scoring two and assisting on the game-winner as the Yellowjackets advance to play Sissonville Thursday evening, also at Ravenswood. The Indians defeated Ravenswood 7-1.

In ending one its best seasons in school history, Hannah Schoolcraft and Taylor Bailey scored the two Hoover (16-5) goals and Bailey Aab made 13 saves.

Sissonville 7, Ravenswood 1 - Karli Pinkerton scored four goals and Madison Jones added three as the defending Class AA/A state champion Indians (19-0-2) rolled in the other Region 4 Section 1 semifinal.

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PREP SOCCER: Confidence high for GW girls as postseason begins http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029877 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029877 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:29:27 -0400 By Tom Bragg CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The George Washington girls soccer team knows two-time defending Class AAA state champion Winfield looms large over the rest of the state as tournament play begins, but second-year GW coach Megan Johnson thinks this year's Patriots have a key ingredient that was missing in the past - confidence.

GW (14-2-2) opens its postseason at host site Ripley on Wednesday against the winner of Tuesday's Riverside/South Charleston game and Johnson said the experience of going to the state tournament last season combined with what the Patriots have accomplished so far this season has the team in peak form.

"I think we are pretty conditioned and mentally we are confident," she said. "They believe in themselves which is what I think they lacked last year. We always lost to Winfield and this year we tied them 2-2. Now we're finally confident."

The Patriots will be without three players - Alanna Mobayed, Kasey Rhodes, and Jessica Lowen - who were each injured during the regular-season finale against Morgantown. All three will miss sectionals, but GW has one of the state's top goalkeepers in Olivia Miller, which can certainly be counted as an asset in the win-or-go-home soccer playoff format. In addition to Miller's play in goal, the Patriots' defense - including junior Elisha Davis, sophomore Kate Eddy, senior Sarah Wilson and freshman Katie Roberts - have only allowed four goals this season.

"Olivia, obviously, has a lot to do with that," Johnson said. "My four backs have stepped up and helped Olivia out a lot though."

Capital takes on Ripley in Wednesday's other semifinal with the championship game scheduled for Saturday at 2 p.m.

As for Winfield, the Generals (15-0-4) returned the bulk of the 2013 team that won the program's state-record fifth girls soccer state title and second in as many season, including reigning state player of the year Jayne Lawman. If Winfield is to take a sixth state championship, however, it will have a fight on its hands the whole way.

Joining the Generals in the Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 tournament is Putnam County-rival Hurricane, which has been among the top teams in the West Virginia Soccer Coaches Association ratings but has lost twice to Winfield this season. Hurricane (16-2-1) hosts St. Albans (11-6-1) on Tuesday while the winner of Tuesday's Point Pleasant at Nitro game travels to Winfield the same night. A potential third Hurricane-Winfield match looms in the sectional final on Saturday at 6 p.m.

The third of the Kanwaha Valley's highly rated group of Class AAA girls teams, George Washington, is the top seed in the Region 3, Section 1 tournament at Ripley.

Sissonville's road to a second consecutive Class AA/A girls state title features the familiar hurdles of Herbert Hoover within its section and Charleston Catholic within its region.

The Indians (18-0-2) are the top seed in the four-team Region 4, Section 1 tournament, scheduled to begin Tuesday at Ravenswood. Hoover (16-4-0) and Williamstown open play at 5:30 with the Indians and the hosts playing the second game.

In Region 4, Section 2 Charleston Catholic gets to stay close to home at host site Trace Fork Soccer Complex. Sherman and St. Joseph opened the tournament Monday, with the winner slated to play the Irish on Wednesday at 7:30. Wednesday's other semifinal features Scott against Poca.

On the boys side, playoff games with local implications began Monday.

George Washington, fresh off its 5-1 thrashing of crosstown rival and Class AA/A power Charleston Catholic, is the top seed in the Class AAA Region 3, Section 1 tournament at Ripley. On Wednesday the Patriots (14-2-3) play the winner of Monday's Capital/Riverside game, while No. 2 seed Ripley plays South Charleston (5-10-3).

Winfield, a Class AAA semifinalist a year ago, hosts the winner of Monday's Point Pleasant/St. Albans game in the Region 4, Section 1 semifinals on Wendesday. Nitro (10-4-3) hosts Hurricane (8-10-2) in the other semifinal with the highest seed hosting the title game on Saturday.

Seniors Steven Taylor and Jesse Richmond have helped lead the Generals attack this season. Taylor finished the regular season with 35 goals, while Richmond tallied nine goals to go with six assists.

"A lot of that credit (for Taylor's goal production) goes to Jesse, who is feeding him the ball the majority of the time," Winfield coach Mike Foster said. "They're just two seniors that have contributed to this program since freshmen year."

The boys Class AA/A Region 4, Section 1 tournament features three Kanawha Valley teams this week at Schoenbaum Stadium. The winner of Monday's Herbert Hoover/St. Joseph taking on Charleston Catholic (16-1-1) on Tuesday while Sissonville (6-10-2) plays Scott in the other sectional semifinal. The championship game is scheduled for Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Regional championship games are scheduled for next week. The WVSSAC designates host schools for the regional games each season. In Class AA/A, East Fairmont hosts Region 1, Bridgeport hosts Region 2, Bluefield hosts Region 3 and Ripley hosts Region 4. In Class AAA Parkersburg hosts Region 1, Buckhannon-Upshur hosts Region 2, George Washington hosts Region 3 and Cabell Midland hosts Region 4. Class AA/A regional games are slated for Tuesday, Oct. 28 while Class AAA regional games are set for Thursday, Oct. 30. Regional winners advance to the state tournament on Nov. 7 and 8 at the Beckley YMCA Soccer Complex.

Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at tom.bragg@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.

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PREP SOCCER: Yablonsky, St. Joe oust Hoover boys http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029880 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141020/DM03/141029880 Mon, 20 Oct 2014 22:21:41 -0400 By Chris Wade PREP SOCCER: GW boys stun Charleston Catholic http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141016/DM03/141019280 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141016/DM03/141019280 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:06:26 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The Charleston Catholic boys soccer team had turned away all challengers this season, amassing a 15-0-1 record.

That all changed Thursday, however, as George Washington routed the Irish 5-1 at Trace Fork Soccer Complex.

"They just came out and beat us," Catholic coach Dom Cipollone said. "I think my kids thought they could beat them and they didn't play well. Last year, GW was like No. 1 and we tied them. It was kind of opposite this year. Their attitude and mentality was different this year."

GW coach Kevin Cushing indicated his Patriot team put an extra emphasis on the rivalry game against Catholic on Thursday night.

"We agreed that this was a playoff game for us," Cushing said. "Catholic has always had our number. It is always good to get a win against them because they have such a quality program. I'm a little bit surprised by the score. I'm proud of the boys."

GW senior Alex Lewis, who scored two goals for the Patriots, knows how important it is to beat a rival.

"I've never seen anything like that against them (Catholic)," Lewis said. "For us to come out and play like that, felt really good. To beat them and get a win against a good team like that, is huge. Catholic has a really good team."

Cushing was proud of his senior in Lewis, and envisioned a good game from him even before the contest.

"Before the game, I told Alex I thought he would score tonight," Cushing said. "He had two weeks of great practice. He deserves it."

GW senior Jonah Cosby, a transfer from South Charleston who scored two goals, played in the rivalry game for the first time.

"I had heard it was a big game and we wanted to win more than anything," Cosby said. "Throughout the years, it has either been a loss or a draw. It was time for us to win. We definitely wanted it more than they did."

Cosby has been on a roll for GW in his only season with the team, leading the Patriots with 26 goals. Despite that, Cushing wanted even more from the standout senior, and got it against Catholic.

"Jonah and I had a talk this week and I challenged him to step up more than he has so far," Cushing said. "He is a fine young man and I wanted him to prove that he could do even better. Tonight he took it to another level."

Catholic actually got on the scoreboard first, netting a goal with 23:35 remaining in the first half on a Anthony Cipollone goal to give the Irish a quick 1-0 lead.

However, it was all GW after that as the Patriots attacked the Catholic goal and scored four times in the first half to take a commanding 4-1 lead.

Cosby scored the equalizer with 13:56 left in the half and then added another goal with 11:04 left to give GW a 2-1 lead. The Patriots were far from through, scoring two more times late in the half by Khegan McLane and Lewis.

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PREP SOCCER: Hurricane girls top Charleston Catholic http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141016/DM03/141019281 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141016/DM03/141019281 Thu, 16 Oct 2014 23:05:01 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

HURRICANE, W.Va. - A flurry of second-half goals propelled Hurricane past visiting Charleston Catholic after defense ruled the pitch early between two of the state's top girls soccer teams facing in a late-season tune-up on Thursday evening.

Hurricane and Catholic locked in a defensive battle in the opening half, though a quick burst of second-half offense ultimately provided the Redskins a 3-1 win. The Redskins entered ranked second in Class AAA, according to the West Virginia High School Soccer Coaches Association, with the Irish No. 1 among AA/A teams, as both teams benefitted from the tough competition heading toward next week's postseason play.

"I thought the girls came out with more energy the second half," Hurricane coach Shelly Young said. "I think that the girls, we felt like they played a good first half and we made some changes the second half where people were playing and changes to their mindset, and we came out and they were able to finish their opportunities that they had," Hurricane coach Shelly Young said.

The Redskins (15-2-1) trailed 1-0 at halftime and the Irish (12-2-1) held that lead until 15:26 into the second half when senior Kayla McKnight netted a game-tying shot for Hurricane. The goal marked the first of three in a 3:26 span for the Redskins. Freshman Makenna Slack and senior co-captain Audrey Barber quickly followed to give the Redskins a two-goal advantage after Hurricane failed to score in the opening 55 minutes of play.

"It was just three minutes that we couldn't hold them off," Catholic coach Amy Mullen said. "It was a great game. They really wanted it. They came out on fire. We're strong. I felt like we did a good job contesting the ball, moving the ball, but as soon as they transitioned, it scared us to death, and we have to get better at it."

For Barber, her goal was her 28th of the season, second-best among area girls players, and it was especially welcomed on Hurricane's Senior Night, she said.

"I haven't scored in a few games, and I just had a lot of adrenaline today," Barber said. "It felt special. We knew we played bad in the beginning and we had to pick it up. We just wanted it more."

Following Barber's goal, Hurricane and Catholic battled intensely for control, though neither team manufactured another goal.

Irish junior Caroline Dundervill netted the game's first goal less than four minutes into the match to increase her season total to 17.

At the time, Dundervill's goal looked to be the start of a potential offensively potent game, though scoring proved difficult for each team until Hurricane's second-half trio of goals.

In the first half, both teams struggled to score with each squad facing one of the Kanawha Valley's top goal keepers. Hurricane senior Hannah Thompson entered with nine shutouts, ranked fourth-best in the Valley, while Catholic sophomore Vida Imani ranked sixth with five shutouts.

Redskins senior Abby Watson provided Hurricane with multiple chances late in the first half, as well as the opening 10 minutes of second-half play, though Imani stepped forward each time to prevent Watson from seizing the opportunity.

Six minutes into the second half, Watson squared a header at the goal off a corner kick, but Imani placed herself in perfect position to make the save. Less than a minute later, Watson surged ahead for a breakaway opportunity though her shot missed wide left as Hurricane remained in search of a game-tying goal.

Both coaches agreed facing each other late in the schedule provided their respective teams great opportunities for growth at a much-needed time of the year.

"That's what we were just talking about, how important it is to play quality opponents the week before playoffs to prepare you for the postseason," Young said.

Mullen also saw the benefits despite the loss.

"It is something I always wanted to do," she said. "Getting to play them, getting to play Winfield, I feel very fortunate to get to play them. It's just getting us ready to play sectionals and regionals."

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PREP SOCCER: GW girls top Cabell Midland http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141015/DM03/141019421 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141015/DM03/141019421 Wed, 15 Oct 2014 22:18:17 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The George Washington High School girls soccer team scored three goals in the first half and four more in the second to beat Cabell Midland, 7-0, on Wednesday at Trace Fork. Jessica Lowen led George Washington with two goals, while Hannah Ellis scored one goal and assisted on another. The shutout was the 13th of the season for Patriots goalkeeper Olivia Miller. George Washington moved to 12-1-2 on the season, while Cabell-Midland fell to 9-9-0.

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PREP VOLLEYBALL: Sissonville exceeding expectations http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM03/141019538 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM03/141019538 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:49:23 -0400 By Michael Dailey HURRICANE, W.Va. - First-year Sissonville volleyball coach Paul Bradshaw knew the senior-laden team he inherited had the potential to be a good one.

But not even Bradshaw foresaw the season his team is having.

"I didn't know we would be as good as we've been coming out of the gate," Bradshaw said. "The fact that they've been able to come together and really learn the offense we've put in and the defensive positioning has been big.

"They've really stepped up their game this season. They've been together since sixth grade so sometimes it just takes someone that knows what to do with the talent that's there and be able to put them in positions to help them succeed and to win."

And win they have.

Sissonville improved to 26-3-1 after a 25-22, 25-21 win over Capital Tuesday evening. The Indians only losses of the season came at Class AAA Greenbrier East (twice) and at Class AA Wayne. The Indians avenged the loss to Wayne with a pair of home wins against the Indians, including a 3-0 victory last Thursday.

A big plus for the Indians has been Bradshaw's familiarity with his players.

Although Bradshaw had not been a high school coach prior to this season, he was familiar with many of the Indians' players through summer workouts and travel volleyball.

In fact, it was the players that helped recruit Bradshaw to Sissonville.

"I worked with the girls in summer conditioning when I wasn't their coach," Bradshaw said. "I've coached the Charleston Volleyball Club and that's pretty much how I got this job. Sissonville posted their job and the girls came to me and asked me to come out and coach them."

And the girls haven't been disappointed.

"He's done an excellent job of coming in and going over basic things, and pushing us harder than we really have been pushed before," said senior outside hitter/defensive specialist Andrea Harmon. "It's been a combination of our experience and his pushing us because you have to have the leadership within the team itself and then we have him helping us out."

Bradshaw believes that the girls' familiarity with each other has been more important than the bond between coach and players.

"They're like sisters," Bradshaw said. "They're on the phone with each other all the time. It really is like they're a family. We have seven seniors and a junior (Brooke McCoy) and the junior's just meshing real well with the group.

"They really have a cohesive bond."

It's a bond that's been forged since the group of seniors entered the sixth grade.

Those seniors, Cheyenne Davis, a returning Class AA honorable mention All-Stater, Bailie Payne, Allie Humphreys, Amanda Young, Lauren Knox, Katelyn Linville and Harmon are enjoying more success this season than in any other year together.

"We've played together since the sixth grade, but this is the best season and the most fun season we've had by far," said Payne, a senior captain. "We scheduled a lot more games and high competition this year and it's been fun.

"I think we're just working better as a team. We have seven seniors and a junior on the varsity team and I think it's just clicked. We're working together really well."

One new thing Bradshaw brought to the team was a tougher schedule that features a slew of Class AAA teams, including Hurricane and Capital.

The Indians lost in sectional play last season to eventual Class AA runner-up Herbert Hoover.

"I wanted to press the girls with our schedule," Bradshaw said. "I scheduled AAA teams and better Class AA teams on purpose because I wanted to push them to strive to better against good competition. I want them to face tough teams so that we can make a push through the sectionals and the regionals and earn a state tournament bid.

"Our goal is not perfection this year. We call it the stair step effect. We want to climb each step and get better along the way until we get go into sectionals so that we can make the even bigger step from sectionals to regionals and from regionals to hopefully the states."

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PREP SOCCER: Trupo scores three goals to lead Charleston Catholic boys past Winfield http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM03/141019540 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM03/141019540 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:44:39 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

WINFIELD, W.Va. - In a boys soccer matchup featuring two of the area's top offensive squads, Kanawha Valley scoring leader Joey Trupo proved the difference for Charleston Catholic.

Trupo netted a hat trick to push his season goal total to 44, as the Irish prevailed 4-3 at Winfield on Tuesday evening. Generals senior Steven Taylor, the Valley's second-leading scorer, tallied two goals for Winfield.

"I expected a highly competitive game coming in," Trupo said "It makes me one of the most nervous persons here. I'm extremely nervous coming into a game like this. It's a big game.

"We knew it was going to be a crazy competitive game. That's just how the cards played out. We both came out and played hard. That's how it ended up."

Trupo scored two first-half goals as the Irish (15-0-1), ranked third in Class AA/A by the West Virginia Soccer Coaches Association, struck first. Winfield (13-1-5) cut the lead in half with a goal by Taylor, but the AAA fourth-ranked Generals trailed 3-1 at halftime, as Kendy Peyton provided a late first-half goal for the Irish.

Heavy rain began to fall in the second half, while both teams continued to pour on the offense. Trupo tallied his third goal of the contest 15 minutes into the second half.

Catholic held a commanding 4-1 advantage, though Winfield charged back with goals by Jason Cavender and Taylor. Taylor's second goal came with 9:22 left in the game, as the Generals attacked with eyes set at evening the match.

Winfield found opportunities in the final minutes but couldn't connect on an equalizing goal, with Catholic escaping with the victory.

"I really did like the second half," Winfield assistant coach Tim Sneeringer said. "We fought back. We were down 3-1 at one point and ended up 4-3. They were on their heels. I like to see that, when the team that's winning is on their heels at the end of the game.

"They were just pushing the ball back out and we were bringing it right back to them with good offensive opportunities."

The offensive firepower proved all the more impressive as each team's goalie ranks among the area's best, with Winfield's C.T. Douglas' nine shutouts on the season and Irish keeper Patrick Cline with five.

"Joey can score against anybody," Irish coach Dom Cipollone said of Trupo's ability to neutralize opposing defenses. "That's all I got to say. He always gives a good effort."

Trupo added that Catholic isn't intimidated no matter the numbers or reputation of the opponent.

"We don't worry about keepers on other teams," Trupo said. "We expect them to be good, if we know some stats, but we go into every game like a new game and do what we always do and score goals."

Cipollone said he wasn't surprised with the style of game as he expected a competitive match.

"I knew it was going to be a good game," he said. "They're a good team, but I think we stepped it up a little bit."

Though Winfield fought back into the contest, Cipollone said he was pleased with Catholic's effort, as the Irish continue to rebound after last season's disappointing postseason finish.

"They're more concentrated on playing and winning this year, because we lost in the semifinals last year," Cipollone said. "Their objective is to win the state championship, so whatever games they play, they give it pretty much their all. They were very good tonight. I was very, very impressed tonight. They were very disciplined too."

Winfield next plays host to South Charleston 6 p.m. Thursday, while Catholic visits Oak Hill at noon on Saturday.

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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Cabell Midland boys seek continued dominance at MSACs http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM03/141019542 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM03/141019542 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:37:32 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The cross country postseason push begins today for Cabell Midland and runners across the Mountain State Athletic Conference, with all eyes pointed toward the finish.

Midland's boys program will look to secure its 15th consecutive conference championship when Ripley hosts the annual MSAC title meet at Cedar Lakes. The boys race is scheduled to start at 5 p.m., with the girls to follow at 5:30 p.m.

"I think when we go to conference, of course, we're always at full force," Knights coach Chris Parsons said. "I think the conference, for us honestly, we use that meet to determine who our top seven is going to be. It helps us make decisions who is running good now, in trying to determine our top seven come the regional and state meet."

Junior Nick Salmons, ranked ninth in boys AAA according to www.runwv.com, enters as the highest-rated runner for No. 1 Midland. Salmons represents one of seven Knights runners listed among the state's top 28 runners.

"I'm just trying to do my best by the time states come around," Salmons said. "I'm working hard, the whole team's working hard, and we're going to be ready for the conference meet."

When one runner succeeds, the rest of the Knights typically follow, Parsons said.

"They feed off each other," he said.

At the Greater Louisville Classic on Oct. 4, the Knights displayed that pack mentality by claiming first as a team behind a solid group finish.

"Between two and seven, we had five seconds - they just came in like a swarm," Parsons said. "The goal for them is to realize not just the importance of having five strong ones, but having seven. I tell them I don't care who beats who, as long as you pack it up and stay close together."

In addition to Salmons, several other of the state's top runners will challenge for the individual conference championship. Winfield junior R.J. Weiford, the 2013 MSAC runner-up, ranks highest statewide among any MSAC runner at eighth. Parkersburg senior Nic Cheuvront (10th), Midland's Jonathan Hathaway (12th), Hurricane senior Jake Henley (14th) and Midland senior Brandon Atkinson (15th) each rank among the state's top 15, with many more MSAC runners viable threats, too.

Behind Salmons, Hathaway, Atkinson and more, the Knights will look to extend their conference title streak. St. Albans won back-to-back boys team championships in 1998 and 1999, before Midland began its dominant run.

"They know the tradition," Parsons said. "There's no shortcuts, there's no easy way in this sport. If you want to run and compete with the best teams in the state, you're going to have to train hard.

"I try to tell our kids, 'Don't get beat by a team that out-works you.' We want to do everything we can. We don't want to get out-worked by another program. If we get beat by them, it's just because they're a better team than we are."

As Midland eyes its 15th straight MSAC championship, third-ranked Hurricane poses the greatest challenge behind Henley, Alex Hughes, Jacob Harmon and Sam Hughes, who each rank among the top 24. Parkersburg (fifth), Winfield (eighth) and Ripley (10th) will also contend.

* * *

On the girls side, Hurricane will look to defend its three straight titles, and individually Capital's Peyton Panger, a senior, will attempt to add a third consecutive MSAC individual win.

Third-ranked Hurricane enters as the highest-rated MSAC girls squad, with plenty of challengers in Parkersburg (fifth), Winfield (sixth), Midland (ninth) and Capital (10th). Redskins runners Joie Johnston, Jenna Crouch, Anna Gordon and Abbie Short each rank in the state's top 15.

Panger, ranked yearlong as the top AAA girls runner, is expected to battle fifth-ranked Woodrow Wilson senior Emily Fedders for the individual title. The pair faced off at the George Washington Invitational Sept. 24, with Panger winning by a nearly two-minute margin.

Additionally, Winfield runners Rachael Englund and Alexis Imperial figure among the expected top girls finishers.

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PREP SOCCER: Aab helps Hoover girls soccer team blank Dots http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM03/141019553 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141014/DM03/141019553 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:01:00 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Senior Bailey Aab came out of goal in the second half and scored a pair of goals to help the Herbert Hoover girls soccer team to a 7-0 victory over Poca during senior night for Hoover (16-4).

Hannah Schoolcraft added two goals as well for the Huskies.

In boys action, Hurricane bounced back from a 2-0 halftime deficit to defeat Cross Lanes Christian on the road.

Loren Meadows scored three times in the second half for Hurricane (7-10-2) and Avery Meadows added the other. Cross Lanes Christian falls to 8-3-3.

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PREP SOCCER: Jones scores 100th career goal for Sissonville girls http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141013/DM03/141019686 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141013/DM03/141019686 Mon, 13 Oct 2014 20:46:03 -0400 By Chris Wade Sissonville's Madison Jones has been a scoring machine this season, having been responsible for 62 goals for the Indians with 33 scored and 29 assisted.

The junior accomplished a milestone on Monday evening, scoring her 100th career goal at Trace Fork Complex in leading the Indians to a 5-0 victory over Herbert Hoover in girls high school soccer action.

Sissonville coach Ali Sadeghian indicated the 100 goals scored by Jones as a junior had never been done before by an individual player, setting not only an area, but also state record, according to the coach.

"Madison has 101 goals now, as a junior," said Sadeghian, whose Indians improved to 17-0-2. "It has never happened as far as anybody in Kanawha, Putnam, or at the state level, as a junior."

Sadeghian was proud of Jones and the great accomplishment.

"It means a lot," Sadeghian said. "She is the heart of our team. We didn't anticipate it or work on it. Our focus is on a team accomplishment but it is wonderful to have a individual bring that kind of record at the county and state level."

Jones entered the game with 98 career goals and it took just 3:16 into the contest against Hoover (13-4) to score No. 99 off an assist from Taylor Rhodes. Bailey Aab had 17 saves for the Huskies.

Karli Pinkerton added a goal with 30:19 remaining in the first half to give Sissonville a 2-0 lead over the Huskies and about 14 minutes later, Jones was able to achieve the milestone with her 100th career goal.

With 16:24 left in the first half, Jones dribbled into the box, and from close range, got the ball past Hoover goalkeeper Bailey Aab and into the back of the net to give the Indians a commanding 3-0 lead.

The game was stopped as Jones was acknowledged over the public address system to the crowd and was awarded a game ball by Sadeghian.

Jones come out of the game for a few minutes. Although proud of her feat, there was no celebration after the goal was scored. The junior was all business.

"It feels great," Jones said. "I didn't know how to respond to the situation. I never thought about it before but in the game, i was a little stressed out. I just wanted to get it out of the way and then focus on the game at hand."

Jones' closest competition to the 100-goal mark as a junior was Lydia Murray, who also played for Sissonville. The two played together for one season while Jones was a freshman and Murray a senior.

"It was cool," Jones said. "We are good friends. She is proud of me. We have always joked around about it. She always said I would stop one short. It is great and good to know it is two Sissonville girls. It is good for the school."

Jones helped guide Sissonville to the Class AA/A state title last season in soccer, and the Indians are a strong contender for a repeat this season.

While Jones is happy for the individual record, her main focus is on winning another state championship.

"I'm proud of it but it is just icing on the cake," Jones said. "I want to go hopefully win another state championship. That's my main goal. I am definitely more proud of having a state championship and an undefeated season."

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PREP SOCCER: Rhodes leads Sissonville girls past Hurricane http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009180 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009180 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:41:02 -0400 By Chris Wade CHARLESTON, W.Va. - The combination of Madison Jones and Karli Pinkerton get a lot of attention and notoriety for the Sissonville girls soccer team, combining for 52 goals and 49 assists this season.

However, there's another player, that is just as important to team's success - Taylor Rhodes.

Rhodes was responsible for both of Sissonville's goals in leading the Indians to a 2-0 victory over Hurricane in girls soccer action at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex.

Sissonville and the Redskins have high aspirations for a deep state tournament run with the Indians, the defending Class AA/A state champions, improving to 15-0-2 while Hurricane falls to 14-2.

In a scoreless game in the second half, Rhodes took a powerful kick, striking the ball well off of a free kick from about 40 yards when Redskin goalie Hannah Thompson tried to make the save.

The ball hit Thompson in the chest, but due the pace of the kick, the Hurricane senior keeper couldn't handle it and it fell to the ground, where Pinkerton tapped it in from right in front of the goal to give Sissonville a 1-0 lead with 22:13 left in the game.

Soon thereafter, Rhodes gave the Indians some breathing room, scoring a goal off another free kick with 19:53 remaining. Rhodes took the free kick off of a difficult angle from the left side of the field from about 20 yards away, but managed to find the back of the net, getting the ball past Thompson into the right corner of the goal.

Sissonville coach Ali Sadeghian was impressed with Rhodes' free kicks.

"Taylor has a great leg, shot, and vision for those kinds of shots," Sadeghian said. "We try and take advantage of those things."

Rhodes indicated the coaching staff told her to keep firing shots on goal, even from distance.

"I had a lot of opportunities in the first half and they just weren't falling," Rhodes said. "They were close but not close enough. They said to just keep shooting and one of them is going to go in. I tried to keep shooting and luckily it did.

"I could see the bigger part of the goal," added Rhodes, on the difficult second free kick. "I could hear Ali (Sadeghian) saying far side and that was what I was aiming for. I knew if it wasn't getting there, someone would be there to finish."

Sadeghian couldn't emphasize enough the importance of Rhodes, a senior midfielder.

"Taylor is our secret weapon," Sadeghian said. "She makes the goals or assists, always shows, and is the hardest-working kid on the field. She is unbelievable.

"She is a player who doesn't get a lot of publicity but she does what she is good at. She is a senior and a great leader. The girls respect her and follows her instructions."

Hurricane coach Shelly Young was also impressed with Rhodes.

"Those were very nice kicks," Young said. "She was threatening every time they had a free kick. She was making a play on the ball and doing a really good job. She's a really good player."

Both Sadeghian and Rhodes indicated the victory over a powerhouse Hurricane team is a huge confidence boost for the Indians.

"This was a big game for us," Sadeghian said. "I am really proud of the girls. They stepped up. This is exactly what we needed this time of the year to beat a very good skilled team with excellent players."

"We really wanted to win," Rhodes said. "This was a big step to boost our confidence. Hurricane is a very good team. We knew that and if we came out on top this would definitely help us in the long run."

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GW boys top Woodrow Wilson in MSAC third-place game http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009183 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141009/DM03/141009183 Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:31:46 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - George Washington (13-2-3) fell behind early in the second half but rallied with three second half goals to pull out a 4-2 road win over Woodrow Wilson (12-4-2) in the Mountain State Athletic Conference boys third-place soccer game Thursday evening.

The two teams were tied 1-1 at the half after Woodrow's Curtis Ketchup and GW's Jonah Cosby traded goals.

In the second half, in which both teams fielded mostly reserves, Nathan Parsons scored two goals for GW, while Alex Lewis added a single goal.

Woodrow's Keegan Rose netted a second half goal.

Nitro 5, Cabell Midland 0 - Seth Jordan scored three goals to lead the Wildcats (8-4-3) in the MSAC fifth place game. Dylan Cavender and Dominic Fazzolari also scored for Nitro, while Alec Miller contributed two assists.

Midland dropped to 7-8-1.

In girls soccer:

Herbert Hoover 11, Mingo Central 0 - Hannah Schoolcraft scored three goals and assisted a fourth as the Huskies (15-3) rolled on the road.

Abbie Henry, Taylor Bailey, Cassie Hammes, Bethany Roush, Bailey Aab, Megan Holt, Olivia Gandee and Caroline Thornburg added single goals for Hoover, while Kari Harding, Summer Short and Bailey had assists.

Mingo Central dropped to 4-11-1.

Nitro 2, Capital 1 - Autumn Griggs and Tessa Musilli scored unassisted goals for Nitro to propel the Wildcats to a win in the MSAC 11th place game. Marcella Romeo stopped nine shots on goal for Nitro. Jada Joseph scored the lone goal for Capital with an assist from Ashley Fisher. The Cougars Hannah Jack stopped nine shots on goal in the loss. Nitro improves to 5-10. Capital falls to 4-11-2.

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PREP SOCCER: Last-second goal gives Hoover girls win over Point Pleasant http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009244 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009244 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 22:47:14 -0400

from staff reports

Hannah Schoolcraft scored two goals as the Herbert Hoover girls soccer team beat Point Pleasant, 2-1, on Wednesday at Herbert Hoover.

After a scoreless first half, the Huskies and the Knights traded goals, leading to a 1-1 tie as the game entered its final minute. With seconds remaining, Schoolcraft headed in a corner kick from Taylor Bailey to seal the win. Cassie Jordan scored the lone goal for Point Pleasant.

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PREP GOLF: Charleston Catholic wins fourth straight golf title http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009251 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141008/DM03/141009251 Wed, 8 Oct 2014 21:47:08 -0400 By Rich Stevens DAILY MAIL ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

WHEELING, W.Va. - Charleston Catholic senior Christian Casingal had a bird's-eye view of what needed to be done for he and the Irish to reach unprecedented heights at the State High School Golf Championship on Wednesday.

Catholic's No. 1 shot a 78 to win Class A medal honors, finishing with a two-score of 154 and to lead the Irish to its fourth consecutive state championship, an all-class first since the Secondary School Activities Commission began sanctioning the state golf tourney in 1954.

"It's pretty special," Catholic coach Bill Gillispie said. "I didn't mention it to the guys all week. I had it as a personal goal for those guys and it's a pretty special feat to be the first one."

Casingal is the first two-time medalist in Catholic history, also winning as a freshman in 2011. He's also a four-time All-State selection. The top eight players and ties in each class earn All-State honors.

In Wednesday's second round, he played with teammate Cameron Blakely and Madonna's Howie Peterson and Nick Mazur. Catholic led Madonna by just three strokes after Tuesday, but won by 21 (488-509).

"This is the first time we've had such a small lead," Casingal said. "I wasn't doing math, but I was thinking in terms of match play. Since Cameron and I hit it in the fairway (on No. 3) and Howie and Nick missed the fairway, I thought this was our chance to pounce. I'll admit it might have affected my score, but it gave me confidence and made me push a little more."

Casingal finished eight strokes better than Mazur, who had Madonna's low score (162). Blakely was two strokes better than Peterson and Nick Casingal was nine strokes better than the Blue Dons' Hunter Payne.

"It's good for this group of kids to get their own," said Gillispie, whose team has won six of the last Class A state titles. "You never take these things for granted."

Blakely finished third - one stroke behind Mazur and nine strokes behind Casingal - to earn All-State honors.

n n n

GEORGE WASHINGTON received a 77 from No. 1 Harry Basile and three of its players improved by 18 strokes from the first round to finish second in Class AAA for the school's highest finish since 2001, when it also finished second.

"We talked (Wednesday morning) about everybody cutting four strokes off their scores (from Tuesday) at a minimum," said GW coach B.J. Calabrese, whose team finished second behind Wheeling Park. "They all said, 'Coach, we can do it.'

"(On Tuesday) if you would've told me we were going to shoot those scores and be in fourth place, right behind second and third, I wouldn't have believed it."

Basile improved by nine strokes and earned All-State honors, while Drew Call improved by six strokes and Matt Nelson by three strokes.

Wheeling Park's Cole Hand couldn't pull off a rarity, but it was a teammate who spoiled his bid to win Class AAA medal honors for the third consecutive year.

The Patriots' Dylan Wojcik shot a 1-over 72, finishing with five bogeys and four birdies, to win big school medal honors at the Oglebay Resort's Robert Trent Jones Course. Hand, a senior, shot his highest round ever in eight state tournament rounds, shooting a 78.

"Putts finally fell today," Wojcik said. "I knew I would have to post something low to have a chance because I didn't expect Cole to post anything high."

In 2012, it was Hand playing the spoiler, defeating then-teammate Thadd Obecny, who had won back-to-back crowns the two years prior (2010-11).

n n n

IN CLASS AA, Westside freshman Colin Bowles lived up to the hype, tying for the low round of the day with a 72 and winning medal honors. Also shooting a 72 were Wheeling Park's Wojcik and Roane County's Cole Moore, whose Raiders won the Class AA title for the third consecutive year.

Still, it was Bowles stealing the show after trailing Roane's Cam Moore by one stroke after Tuesday's first round.

"I hit a lot of fairways and I didn't in the first round," Bowles said. "That helped, just getting it in play. I did keep it low (to avoid the wind) and putted better."

Poca finished fourth after four consecutive years of second-place finishes. The Dots' No. 1, Alex Hamrick, shot 79 each day to finished with a 158 and earn All-State.

Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstevens@dailymailwv.com or 304-348-4837. Follow him on Twitter @richdailymail

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