www.charlestondailymail.com Prep Sports http://www.charlestondailymail.com Daily Mail feed en-us Copyright 2014, Charleston Newspapers, Charleston, WV Newspapers PREP SOCCER: GW boys, girls advance to state tournament http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141030/DM03/141039900 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141030/DM03/141039900 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:50:17 -0400 By Chris Wade Thursday was a good night to be a George Washington Patriot as the boys and girls soccer teams advanced to the state tournament.

The GW girls knocked off Woodrow Wilson 2-0 while the Patriots' boys team also defeated the Flying Eagles by a 3-1 score. The games were played at the Trace Fork Soccer Complex on a chilly Thursday night.

With the GW girls victory, the Patriots improve to 17-2-2 and will play Class AAA two-time defending champion Winfield in the semifinals on Friday, Nov. 7 in Beckley.

The teams met in last season's regional final, and it took penalty kicks for the Patriots to advance, something GW girls coach Megan Johnson wanted no part of this time around.

"I am so happy it didn't have to go penalty kicks," Johnson said. "I told the girls we were not going to PKs this year. I always say a 1-0 lead is the most dangerous lead in soccer. We had to get another one in there to feel comfortable."

The Patriots made sure this year's contest between the two teams didn't come to that pressure-packed ending by scoring a goal in each half. Hannah Ellis was responsible in setting up both GW goals.

Kate Eddy scored off of a corner kick from Ellis with 15:31 remaining in the first half to give GW a 1-0 lead and the Patriots tacked on a insurance goal when Jessica Lowen tapped in a rebound shot from Ellis that the Woodrow Wilson goalkeeper couldn't handle.

Johnson was esctatic with the play of Ellis.

"Hannah was amazing tonight with her crosses and shots," Johnson said. "If it wasn't for her, we wouldn't have had the first goal. We practice corner kicks all the time. Those are our best scoring opportunities."

Ellis was happy to be able to contribute to the big win.

"I don't think I was fully responsible for them," Ellis said. "My teammates helped set me up for them. It was a team effort but I am glad to help out with the goals."

On the boys side, GW has been one of the top programs in the state over the years and have achieved a lot of success, including winning the Class AAA state title last season.

Making it to the state tournament has been the standard for the Patriots, but earning a trip this season was especially important and meaningful for GW considering the fact their longtime coach Tom Hopper passed away last month.

"This has been a difficult season in a lot of ways, and time and time again, they have showed a tremendous amount of courage and determination and that is what has carried them," GW boys coach Kevin Cushing said. "What is spurning us is Tom and his family."

"It feels fantastic and I'm really proud of the boys," Cushing added. "It is a privilege to make it back to the final four in Beckley. Woodrow Wilson is a very tough team to overcome to do it."

GW advances to the semifinals of the state tournament, where the defending champion Patriots will face a upstart Spring Valley team Friday, Nov. 7. The Timberwolves knocked off Winfield 3-1 on Thursday.

It only took GW a little over four minutes to strike first on a goal by Ryan Mears and later in the first half, the Patriots added a insurance goal by Jeff Hodge with 14:33 left to go up 2-0.

"We got a couple early goals and the second goal was huge," Cushing said. "You are always nervous against the talent of a Woodrow team. We figured out a way to pull it out with a lot of determination."

GW added a third goal by Jonah Cosby with 11:52 left in the game before Woodrow finally dented the scoreboard 20 seconds later on a Corey Accord goal to round out the scoring.

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PREP SOCCER: Winfield girls, Spring Valley boys headed to states http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141030/DM03/141039905 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141030/DM03/141039905 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:24:40 -0400 By Tom Bragg ONA, W.Va. - The Winfield girls soccer team will be back in Beckley to defend its consecutive Class AAA state championships.

For the fifth straight season the Generals captured the Region 4 championship, this time with a 3-0 win Thursday against Huntington at Cabell Midland High School.

"Huntington played a heck of a game," Winfield coach Marshall Hoff said. "Tactically they stepped out. It wasn't a packed box and they came out and played us. They played us hard. That's all we can ask for, is their best. That's the only way we're going to get back (to the state tournament)."

Winfield (19-0-4) stretched its unbeaten streak to 30 games with a combination of possession and defense, traits that do not often get the attention a high-scoring offense does, but are equally important to this Generals team.

"We probably have some of the best midfielders and defenders and they don't get the credit they deserve," Winfield senior Jayne Lawman said. "Our defenders, if it wasn't for them and our midfielders, we wouldn't be wherever we are. They do so well controlling the ball and getting us the ball. They keep them from scoring and they are just awesome at what they do."

Junior Jordan Pauley opened the scoring for Winfield in the ninth minute on an assist from Lawman and was credited with the assist on freshman Sydney Cavender's goal in the 35th minute.

Huntington (12-7-4) showed a bit more willingness to press forward in the second half, resulting in a battle between the two midfields through the first 15 minutes. The Highlanders, however, still could not solve Winfield's defense and finished the game with zero shots on goal.

"Winfield's a great team. That's why they're the two-time defending state champs," Huntington coach Paul Farrell said. "I probably did our girls a disservice. In the first half we were a little more conservative. We were going to try and hold them to half and see if we could jump on them in the second half. We played a little stronger in the second half, which makes me think we should have played a little more aggressive in the first half."

Lawman, the reigning state player of the year, closed the scoring for the Generals in the 57th minute on a breakaway to seal the win and another trip to Beckley for Winfield. As a freshman, Lawman was on the Winfield team that lost to Morgantown in the Class AAA title game on penalty kicks. Since then, it's been two state championships and now a chance to add a third in as many years.

"(Losing to Morgantown) was like the worst memory I've ever had," Lawman said. "That was horrible to work so hard and go all that way and lose in PKs. That really gives you the motivation to even harder the next few years. We knew that we had to work hard to go back."

Winfield will face George Washington in that state semifinal round on Oct. 7 at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex in Beckley. The Patriots, a state semifinalist last season, tied the Generals 2-2 when the two teams met on Sept. 3 at Trace Fork Soccer Complex. Winfield also played both of the other semifinalists during the regular season, drawing Wheeling Park 1-1 and beating Washington 3-0. Before a rematch with either of those teams can take place, first comes the matter of another game with GW.

"We'll be looking forward to that one," Hoff said. "We prayed hard maybe to get that opportunity to get to see GW again and also to see Wheeling Park."

* * *

The Spring Valley boys soccer team denied Winfield the opportunity to play in a second consecutive state tournament with a 3-1 win in the second of Thursday's Class AAA Region 4 championship games at Cabell Midland.

The Timberwolves jumped on the Generals for three goals in the first half - two from Dana Maynard and one from Michael Meadows - to clinch the program's first boys soccer state tournament berth since the consolidation of Vinson, Buffalo, and Ceredo-Kenova in 1998.

Winfield (15-3-4) had its chances in the first half, tallying six shots on goal, but could not get the ball into the goal.

Senior Steven Taylor got the Generals on the scoreboard in the 55th minute when he was able to redirect a free kick by teammate Noah Laliberty. Winfield kept the pressure applied to the Timberwolves from that point but was not able to dig out of its early hole.

Spring Valley will play George Washington in one of the Class AAA semifinals on Oct. 7. Morgantown beat Parkersburg for the Region 1 title and will play the winner of Thursday's late Buckhannon-Upshur/Jefferson Region 2 championship in the other 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: Capital's Panger poised for girls state crown http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141030/DM03/141039950 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141030/DM03/141039950 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:19:07 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Capital's Peyton Panger raced the entire cross country season thus far as the top-ranked AAA girls runner, but whether Panger finishes there may determine the success of her senior campaign.

Panger finished top 10 at the state meet each of the past three seasons, improving each year. As a junior, Panger posted her best state meet performance yet with a third-place finish. This year, Panger will look to finish at the top when the AAA girls state championship race begins approximately 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Cabell Midland in Ona.

"It would be a really cool experience, that's for sure," Panger said. "Very few people can even say they're an All-State finisher, so it's an honor to just be here all ready, but to keep on improving is what I hope to do, and I know that would just be the icing on the cake, if I could just finish it off even better than last year."

With the graduation of University standout Millie Paladino, Panger emerged as the Mountain State's top runner this season, though Panger finished behind second-ranked Abby Colbert at the 2013 state meet.

Capital coach Jared Smith said Panger learned from last year's championship, a race in which Panger had hoped to accomplish the near impossible in overtaking Paladino, who finished more than 25 seconds ahead of second-place Colbert.

"Peyton, her ultimate goal was - she wanted to go after Millie really bad, and she took it out from the gun," Smith said. "Peyton was going for it pretty hardcore last year. I think that was a learning experience."

Panger acknowledged she's matured a lot as a runner since her junior season, and that should help her remain in position to reach her goal.

"I have become a much smarter runner," she said. "I've learned how to race better, I've learned how to pace better and I just think the season as a whole, and especially the part of my junior year track season really just helped me to be more mentally strong throughout the race."

In the AAA team standings, Hurricane enters as the No. 1 squad, according to the www.runwv.com power rankings. The Redskins know it will be a tough road in fighting off University and Morgantown, who are tied for second and have combined to win each of the past seven team titles.

"When you're going up against teams like University and Morgantown, you're going up against dynasty programs," Redskins coach Jason Henley said. "We're an upstart program, and I think we're an upstart program that's really strong.

"On RunWV, it might look like on paper that we're the favorites, but I think any time you're going up against dynasty programs like that, you're the Cinderella team, you're the team that's the underdog and has to show everybody that you're supposed to be there, and it will take an absolute monumental effort to knock off either one of those."

Each of Hurricane's "core of four" in senior Joie Johnston, junior Abbie Short, sophomore Anna Gordon and freshman Jenna Crouch ranks among the state's top 15 and figures to be possible All-State finishers or even outside title threats.

Other top contenders include Hampshire freshman Hannah Lipps, Morgantown senior Victoria Cooke, University junior Sarah Wills, Woodrow senior Emily Fedders, Lewis County freshman Emily Louk and University freshman TaShala Turner.

Winfield junior Rachael Englund enters the state meet ranked 10th, with an eye on All-State honors, as well as freshman teammate Alexis Imperial, listed 16th. Sophomore Alyssa Rittinger, ranked 30th, also figures to play a prominent role for the fifth-ranked Generals.

At Capital, Panger will lead the way for the ninth-ranked Cougars, but the squad, fresh from a Region 3 title, will look to continue to impress with postseason success. Host Midland enters the meet ranked 10th.

St. Albans sophomore Rachel Beck, listed 25th, will compete individually.

n n n

Philip Barbour enters as the four-time defending state Class AA/A champion, though Berkeley Springs appears to be the favorite in capturing the team title this season, with Philip Barbour the likely runner-up.

Charleston Catholic enters the meet ranked third and the Irish will battle Doddridge County, Williamstown and East Fairmont, among other squads, in jockeying for podium positions.

Last season, Catholic finished tied with Philip Barbour with 91 team points, though the Irish took runner-up with the sixth-runner tiebreaker. Berkeley Springs placed third.

Because of the unpredictability of cross country, Catholic coach Scott Welch said he's not ready to settle for the third spot.

"I'm hoping we'll be on top of our game Saturday," he said. "Things happen. One runner has something go wrong and the whole thing could fall apart. I've been on the end of that before. You have to approach it with the possibility that you just do the best you can and see what things happen."

Irish sophomore Hannah Gacek finished 13th overall as a freshman, and she ranks 12th. Fellow sophomore Lia Preston enters 23rd, with junior Peyton Keener 29th.

"I think they're capable of being top 20," Welch said of the trio.

Grafton sophomore Alicia Parsons, fourth-ranked, enters as the defending champion. Philip Barbour freshman Kierra Hodge is ranked first statewide, with a one-point advantage ahead of Berkeley Springs senior Danielle Haynes.

Other individual contenders include Frankfort junior Juliana Butcher, Berkeley Springs senior Kinsey Reed, Williamstown freshman Kasey McNamara and East Fairmont freshman Olga Hawranick.

Ravenswood seniors Hailey Miller, ranked sixth, and Taylor Treadway, ninth, also pose potential threats.

Also, individually, Sherman junior Amelia Sebok, a potential All-State finisher, ranks 16th.

The girls Class AA/A race will begin approximately 10:45 a.m.

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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Cabell Midland boys hope to live up to top ranking in state meet http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141030/DM03/141039951 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141030/DM03/141039951 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:18:42 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Years of practice provide the Cabell Midland cross country program plenty of previews at the state championship course, but the Knights, who annually host the title meet, know they must race at a high level to defend their home course.

The Midland boys enter this year's state meet ranked No. 1 according to the www.runwv.com power rankings, slightly ahead of defending champion University, and with each team boasting several of the top AAA runners, the difference could be familiarity with the annual championship course. The boys AAA race will start 1 p.m. Saturday in Ona.

"I think it's pretty important just being able to know the course and knowing how to run it will help us," said junior Nick Salmons, Midland's top-rated runner. "It's going to be tough. It's not going to be an easy task. University's great. They're a great team. We're just going to have to show up and be ready to roll."

Midland coach Chris Parsons acknowledged the benefit of hosting the state meet, though he quickly noted University annually runs the course equally as strong.

"It is, but of course University, they're notorious for running our course good," he said. "They won't even see it for a year and they come down here running like it's almost their home course."

University junior Seth Edwards enters ranked first in the state after finishing fourth overall at last year's state meet in leading the Hawks to the state title, 13 points past runner-up Midland. University also lists Tristan Harvey (sixth) and Alex Minor (eighth) among top-10 runners, though the team's fourth and fifth runners rank 21st and 45th statewide respectively.

Salmons represents Midland's top runner, ranked ninth in the state, but where University leads with a talented trio, the eight-time state champion Knights run behind a pack. Midland's top eight runners all rank within the state's top 25, making a hard decision for Parsons on picking his top seven runners to race in the state meet.

Each of Midland's runners poses a viable threat to attain All-State status or even the individual title, with talent and home-course knowledge great contributing factors.

"I think we're running pretty strong," Knights senior Brandon Atkinson said. "We don't have a (three-time state champion) Jacob Burcham, but we have just a whole team that runs together. We're always within a couple seconds of each other."

Beyond a strong contingent of Midland and University runners, Morgantown junior Connor Riley will contend for the individual championship. Riley finished runner-up in 2013, and this year enters ranked fourth in the state for the No. 3 Mohigans.

Other runners expected to vie for the individual title include Musselman senior Shane Rigsby, Morgantown junior Anthony Laurita, who finished sixth last year, Elkins senior Matt Wallace and Parkersburg's Nic Cheuvront.

Fourth-ranked Hurricane will make its third consecutive state appearance as a team after the program's first trip in 2012.

After finishing fifth individually last year, Redskins senior Jake Henley enters ranked 15th this season. Alex Hughes (16th), Jacob Harmon (26th) and Sam Hughes (32nd) represent Hurricane's other top runners.

"I believe that I've got a guys team that, given the right opportunity, could come away with a podium position and definitely a top three or four finish," Redskins coach Jason Henley said. "We'll be very pleased with that for the building of our team from where we've come."

Winfield junior R.J. Weiford is expected to contend for the top individual spot, too, in representing the ninth-ranked Generals. Weiford, listed seventh statewide, finished ninth overall at the 2013 state meet.

Capital senior Michael Ruhnke will look to continue an impressive late-season surge. Ruhnke, ranked 17th, won the Region 3 individual title one week after placing fourth at the Mountain State Athletic Conference Championships.

"He's progressed really well, he's worked really hard and his ultimate goal is to get All-State," Cougars coach Jared Smith said. "When it comes down to the state meet, I don't think there's really a bona fide favorite. I would take Michael any day."

Ripley, ranked 10th, rounds out the list of the Kanawha Valley-area teams to race at the state meet.

St. Albans sophomore Josh Endres, listed 27th, will compete individually.

n n n

Buffalo junior Hayden Harrison enters the state meet as the favorite to win the individual boys title in the Class AA/A field.

Harrison, who leads 10th-ranked Buffalo, placed third at last season's state meet, less than a second behind second-place finisher Brettley Harris of Webster County. The runners met in back-to-back meets to open this year's regular season, with Harrison winning in each matchup.

In addition to Harrison and Harris, other top individual contenders include PikeView senior Jason Weitzel, Ritchie County junior Daniel Cooper, Berkeley Springs sophomore Steven Shetler, Doddridge County sophomore Hunter Riffle and Wirt County senior Glenn McMillan. Weitzel (sixth), Cooper (eighth) and McMillan (ninth) each posted top-10 performances at the 2013 state meet.

Defending champ Bridgeport enters as the favorite, with Ritchie County and Webster County also among expected top-three teams.

Senior Matt Christiansen, 16th individually, leads fourth-ranked Nicholas County.

Individually, Herbert Hoover senior Josh McClung, listed 20th, will compete too, as will 21st-ranked Jesse Canaday of Sherman.

The boys Class AA/A race will begin at 10 a.m.

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PREP SOCCER: Charleston Catholic tops Sissonville for spot in state tourney http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141028/DM03/141029099 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141028/DM03/141029099 Tue, 28 Oct 2014 23:01:42 -0400 By Chris Wade RIPLEY, W.Va. - Last season, the Sissonville girls soccer team knocked off rival Charleston Catholic in the regional final en route to winning the Class AA/A state title.

Catholic returned the favor in a driving rainstorm on Tuesday night, reclaiming bragging rights and a berth into the state tournament with a 1-0 victory over the Indians in the Class AA/A Region 4 title game at Ripley High School.

With the victory, the Irish (17-3-2) advance to the semifinals of the state tournament next weekend at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex in Beckley.

Sissonville, meanwhile, will not get the opportunity to defend its title, ending their season at 20-1-2, and the Indians saw their 47-match win streak come to an end in the process.

"It is fantastic," said Catholic coach Amy Mullen, on returning to the state tournament. "We worked really hard to get here. We knew the things that we needed to shut down to keep the game our game."

The Irish used last season's 2-0 loss to Sissonville in the regional final as motivation.

"We talked about it from day one how it was taken away from us last year," Mullen said. "We talked about it all the time. It gave us the taste that we needed to get this done."

"It feels so great to get revenge on them from last year," added Payton Mullen, who scored the game's only goal. "That loss helped prepare us for this game. It motivated us to be intense and not stop."

Catholic earned the lone goal with what proved to be the game winner when Mullen scored off an assist from Caroline Dundervill with 15:41 left in the first half.

Mullen, a junior midfielder for the Irish, received a pass from Dundervill in the center of the field at the top of the box and squeezed the ball into the lower left corner past Sissonville goalkeeper Brooke Reed.

"It feels amazing," Mullen said. "I couldn't have done it without my team. We passed and I got that open shot. I was so happy and knew we could do it."

The game wasn't without controversy as it appeared Sissonville had struck first on a goal from Karli Pinkerton five minutes into the game, but the junior was called for a foul by the side judge, disallowing the goal.

Catholic goalkeeper Vida Imani came out on the play but couldn't retrieve the ball, and in a loose ball situation, Pinkerton got past an Irish defender and appeared the score to give the Indians a 1-0 lead, when the critical foul was called.

Sissonville coach Ali Sadeghian vehemently disagreed with the call, and indicated it changed the whole game.

"I am speechless," Sadeghian said. "We scored a goal and he called a foul on Karli and she didn't do anything. It went in and the center referee called it a goal. The AR (assistant referee) changed his mind.

"It was one of those things where what are you going to do? In a championship game, you get a call like that, it is hard and unfortunate. That changed the tone of the game."

Sissonville controlled most of the action in the first half and had several opportunities against Imani and the Irish defense but never could cash in. The Indians saw their best shot go awry when Taylor Rhodes drilled a long shot that hit off the top of the crossbar.

Catholic tightened up in the second half, playing more of a defensive attack to try and maintain their one goal lead, which they did.

"We just played more defensively," coach Mullen said. "If we had played more aggressively, maybe we could have got a couple more goals but we just wanted to protect the lead once we got it. The defense played great and were very solid."

Despite the disappointing ending, Sadeghian was proud of what the Indians had accomplished the last two seasons with a state title and 47-game unbeaten streak.

"It is disappointing but I'm very proud of this group," Sadeghian said. "This is pretty much the same group as last year except for one graduate. They have done great. I never would have imagined being in this position with a 47-game winning steak."

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PREP SOCCER: Charleston Catholic boys cruise to state tourney berth http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141028/DM03/141029100 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141028/DM03/141029100 Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:52:12 -0400 By Michael Dailey RIPLEY, W.Va. - Charleston Catholic's boys soccer team saw its string of four consecutive state championships come to a grinding halt in a state semifinal double-overtime loss last season.

On Tuesday night, the Irish used a first-half scoring blitz to move to within just two wins of beginning another championship streak.

Catholic senior Roger Burdette netted four goals in the first 13 minutes of play to help lead the Irish to an easy 9-1 win over St. Marys in the Class AA/A Region 4 championship game on the artificial surface at Ripley High School.

Third-ranked Catholic (19-1-1) advances to its seventh straight state tournament and will face top-ranked and defending champion PikeView in a semifinal match next week at the Beckley YMCA Youth Soccer Complex, while St. Marys ended its season at 9-14-0.

"We came out and played better in the first half," said Burdette of the quick start. "We'd been struggling a little bit the past two games in the first half, but we came out and got it done in the first half."

Actually, the Irish got it done in the first six and half minutes.

Burdette started the scoring with an assist from Joey Trupo at the 33:23 minute mark of the first half.

Burdette followed with three more goals at 31:25, 28:38 and 26:54 - the latest with another assist from Trupo - to make it 4-0.

"I never thought that would happen to me," said Burdette of his early game offensive fireworks. "I've never had that happen in high school."

Trupo added a pair of goals at 25:05 and 21:42, while Kendy Peyton scored at 22:07 and Thad Jameson at 0:01 to make it 8-0 at the half.

"Coach always tells us to come out and score early and score often," Irish senior Patrick O'Leary said. "That's always our mindset coming into games, especially playoff games. We knew this game was between us and a trip to Beckley, so we wanted to get there as quickly as possible."

The Irish sat its starters in the second half as St. Marys finally got on the board with 26:17 to play on a direct kick from Adam Bills.

Catholic closed out the scoring on Mason Allen's goal with 20:27 left.

"They are well disciplined and well coached, that's the main reasons why they're so tough," St. Marys coach Anthony Miller said. "It was mental mistakes. We coached it all year that when we start making mistakes, the stabbing, the not talking, it's going to kill us and it showed in the first couple minutes of the game."

The Irish will focus its energy on PikeView in an attempt to clear the state semifinal hurdle of last season.

"That really hurt last year after the game," O'Leary. "We had that in our minds the entire year. We know they're (PikeView) a good team and we had a tough win against them earlier. We know they're going to give us their all, so we'll be ready for the challenge."

PikeView earned a state tournament berth with a 6-1 win over Pocahontas County Tuesday night. The Irish topped PikeView 1-0 in their only meeting this season.

Burdette believes the Irish will be ready for the challenge.

"I think we took it for granted, being there for the past four years and winning it," Burdette said. "This year we understand the importance and how hard we worked to get there, so it means a lot more than it did last year."

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PREP BASKETBALL: 2014 Hoops Classic to be played at Civic Center, W.Va. State http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141028/DM03/141029156 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141028/DM03/141029156 Tue, 28 Oct 2014 17:40:15 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

The West Virginia Hoops Classic, sponsored by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, has had plenty of formats since its inception in 2000.

The 15th annual edition will continue with what it began last year with teams from the Cardinal Conference and the Big 10 Conference squaring off.

The Hoops Classic will be played on Friday, Dec. 19 and Saturday, Dec. 20, the FCA revealed on Tuesday. The first day at the Charleston Civic Center opens with a 9 a.m. girls matchup between Elk Valley Christian and Wood County Christian and concludes with an 8 p.m. boys contest between South Charleston and Oak Hill.

The second day, which features nine boys games and will be played at West Virginia State University's Walker Convocation Center, will get underway at 8 a.m. with a game between Lincoln County and Liberty (Harrison).

The final game of the two-day, 34-team event will feature two teams that competed in the 2014 state tournament. Cardinal Conference member Poca, which saw a 23-game losing streak end in the state semifinals against Bluefield, will face Big 10 Conference team Robert C. Byrd. The Eagles reached the state tourney title game before falling to Bluefield, giving the Beavers their second consecutive Class AA championship.

See schedule below.

High school

Hoops Classic

at Charleston Civic Center

Friday, Dec. 19

Girls: Elk Valley Christian vs. Wood County Christian, 9 a.m.

Boys: Elk Valley Christian vs. Wood County Christian, 10:30 a.m.

Girls: Summers County vs. Clay County, noon

Girls: Sissonville vs. Charleston Catholic, 1:30 p.m.

Boys: Nitro vs. Point Pleasant, 3:30 p.m.

Boys: Wheeling Park vs. Riverside, 5 p.m.

Boys: Parkersburg South vs. Brooke, 6:30 p.m.

Boys: South Charleston vs. Oak Hill, 8 p.m.

at Walker Convocation Center, W.Va. State

Saturday, Dec. 20

Boys: Lincoln County vs. Liberty (Harrison), 8 a.m.

Boys: Philip Barbour vs. Tolsia, 9:30 a.m.

Boys: North Marion vs. Wayne, 11 a.m.

Boys: East Fairmont vs. Herbert Hoover, 12:30 p.m.

Boys: Lincoln vs. Sissonville, 2 p.m.

Boys: Scott vs. Grafton, 3:30 p.m.

Boys: Fairmont Senior vs. Chapmanville, 5 p.m.

Boys: Mingo Central vs. Bridgeport, 6:30 p.m.

Boys: Poca vs. Robert C. Byrd, 8 p.m.

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PREP SOCCER: Winfield girls stop Nitro, 6-0 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029498 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029498 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:29:27 -0400 By Michael Dailey WINFIELD, W.Va. - When Nitro's girls soccer team traveled to face Winfield in a regular-season matchup, the Wildcats left Putnam County with a double-digit shutout loss.

On Thursday, the two teams met again on the same field, this time in a Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 semifinal matchup.

And while Nitro showed vast improvement in the second meeting, the Wildcats were still no match for the two-time defending state champion Generals.

Senior Jayne Lawman and junior Jordan Pauley netted two goals apiece to help the Generals overcome a sluggish first half to pull away down the stretch for a 6-0 win.

No. 1 Winfield (16-0-4) will host intra-county rival and second-ranked Hurricane (16-2-3) for the sectional title at 5 p.m. Saturday. Nitro's season ends at 6-12-0.

Winfield started slowly offensively, thanks in part to a few unlucky bounces.

The Generals peppered Nitro keeper Marcella Romeo with five first-half shots, including the game's first goal on an unassisted goal from Mary Lawman with 34:01 left in the first half.

But after that, the Generals struggled to put any distance between themselves and the Wildcats.

Mary Lawman fired another shot that bounced off the top post, followed by two shots from sister Jayne Lawman that sailed just over the top post and off the right post, respectively.

"We came out a little slow at first," said Jayne Lawman, a Marshall University signee. "We couldn't find our passes and our shots weren't going in, but that happens. You just can't get frustrated and you've just to keep going at it."

Winfield's persistence finally paid dividends with 10:16 left before the half when Pauley netted the first of her two goals.

Jayne Lawman got on the board with just one second left, when she headed in a corner kick from Josee Erlandson to make it 3-0 at the break.

The second half also began slowly for the Generals before they erupted for three goals in a 1:49 second span to put the contest out of reach.

Sydney Cavender started the second half scoring with an assist from Mary Lawman at the 22:49 mark.

Pauley notched her second goal 1:07 later to make it 5-0, before Jayne Lawman closed out the scoring with an unassisted goal with 21 minutes to play.

"We came out and capitalized on some good opportunities," said Winfield coach Marshall Hoff said of the second-half scoring. "They played us hard and they leaned on us in the box and they kept pressure on us.

"We just looked for the small gaps. That's what we knew we would capitalize on. Anytime you get that kind of numbers, you've got to be quick to finish and quick on the opportunities and we were able to do that."

Winfield dominated the action on the field in holding an 18-1 advantage in shots, and a 9-1 edge in corner kicks. Romeo finished with 13 saves, while Winfield keeper Hailey Evans finished with one.

"We played great defensively, but we just couldn't get one in the net," Nitro coach Niki Gordon said. "We had a difficult season with injuries and playing short a lot of the time. We have a small team as it is and when you have injuries it's difficult. The girls overcame that and have been working together well and playing hard. I'm proud of every one of our girls."

While Nitro prepared for next season, the Generals will gear up for another battle with the Redskins in a rematch of last season's sectional final.

"There are always good teams ahead on the schedule and there are a lot of good teams in the state, it just happens that we live real close to one and we share a rivalry with the team across the way," Hoff said. "They've got a lot of talent, so it will be a challenge and getting prepared is up to us. We need to come ready because it will be nothing less than a battle."

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PREP SOCCER ROUNDUP: Sissonville girls blank Williamstown http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029501 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029501 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 22:13:11 -0400

FROM STAFF REPORTS

After taking a one-goal lead into halftime, the Sissonville scored four more in the second half to put away Williamstown by a 5-0 count in the Class AA/A Region 4 Section 1 final at Ravenswood. Taylor Rhodes lead Sissonville with two goals and an assist, while Madison Jones added a goal and an assist. Sissonville advances to face the winner of the Poca/Charleston Catholic game at the Region 4 title game at 7 p.m. on Tuesday in Ripley.

Winfield 6, Nitro 0 - Jayne Lawman and Jordan Pauley each scored a pair of goals to lead Winfield (16-0-4) to a Class AAA girls Region 4 Section 1 sectional win over Nitro at Winfield.

Mary Lawman and Sydney Cavender also scored a goal, while Lawman and Josee Erlandson added an assist for the Generals.

For the Red Dragons (6-12-0), junior Marcella Romeo made 13 saves in the loss.

Hurricane 5, St. Albans 1 - Abby Watson and Allison Clay scored two goals a piece to lead Hurricane (17-2-1) to a Class AAA Region 4 Section 1 sectional win at St Albans. Lauren London added a goal and an assist, while Rosheka Beckford chipped in with the final goal of the Redskins' win.

McKenzie Albert scored a second half goal on a penalty kick, allowing the Red Dragons to avoid the shutout.

Capital 4, Ripley 1 - Ashley Fisher scored three times and the Cougars (6-12-2) rolled over the host Vikings (7-12) in the Class AAA Region 3, Section 1 semifinal. The Cougars advance to Saturday's 2 p.m. sectional title game against the winner of Thursday's George Washington-Riverside game.

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PREP CROSS COUNTRY: Capital boys, girls sweep regional http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029506 DM03 http://www.charlestondailymail.com/article/20141023/DM03/141029506 Thu, 23 Oct 2014 21:57:40 -0400

By NICK BROCKMAN

FOR THE DAILY MAIL

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Capital's cross country runners crushed the competition in racing to a sweep of title wins at the Class AAA Region 3 Championship in Lewisburg on Thursday afternoon.

Seniors Peyton Panger and Michael Ruhnke each claimed individual victories to pace their respective squads, which also captured wins to advance to the Nov. 1 state championship meet. The feat marked a first-ever Capital sweep of all four regional honors.

"This afternoon went really well, and I don't think I could be any happier right now," Capital coach Jared Smith said. "We had some people really step up today, and it was awesome."

Panger, ranked No. 1 in AAA girls all season by www.runwv.com, won in convincing fashion with a time of 18:41.0. Fourth-ranked Emily Fedders, of Woodrow Wilson, finished second in 20:14.2.

Behind Panger, Cougar runners Riley Simmerman (third), Sophia Morgado (sixth) and Mary Keeton Lane (seventh) also posted top-10 finishes in leading 10th-ranked Capital to the team win.

The Cougars finished with 36 points, ahead of second-place Greenbrier East (84) and third-place Ripley (102), who also advanced to the state meet. George Washington narrowly missed advancing, as the Patriots finished fourth with 103 points. Senior Amanda Hamilton led GW with a ninth-place finish to advance to state individually.

Ruhnke ran strong on the heels of a fourth-place showing at the Mountain State Athletic Conference Championship on Oct. 15. On Thursday, Ruhnke held a 15-second advantage against his closest competitor, Oak Hill's Cody Gillespie, who entered as the 12th-best runner in AAA, eight spots ahead of Ruhnke's pre-race ranking.

"Honestly, I would just say I'm peaking at the right time," Ruhnke said. "A lot of people peak early and I'm just peaking at these three important meets, and I'm really happy with it."

Ruhnke set the Capital school-record 5K time with his finish Thursday in 16:44.6.

Beyond Ruhnke, two other Capital runners claimed top-10 finishes in senior Joe Schwartz (third) and sophomore Sam Thomas (sixth).

Antonio Jones (fourth place) led a trio of Ripley runners who finished among the top 10, though the Vikings took second as a team, 15 points behind Capital. Oak Hill finished in third with 83 points to narrowly secure the final of three advancing team positions. Riverside finished fourth with 88 points, led by junior Nick Kennedy, who placed ninth overall and will advance with his individual showing. GW senior Chad Hollandsworth finished fifth to advance individually, too.

Class AAA Region 4

Freshman Jenna Crouch won the individual title in leading the top-ranked Hurricane Redskins to their seventh consecutive regional championship. Crouch finished in 20:45.3, less than a second ahead of Redskins teammate Abbie Short.

Hurricane totaled 24 team points, with second-place Winfield 38 points. The Redskins and Generals combined to account for 12 of the top 13 finishers. St. Albans sophomore Rachel Beck represented the lone disparity with her sixth-place finish that qualified her individually for the state meet.

"On any given day, it could be any one of them and today it just happened that Jenna took it," Hurricane coach Jason Henley said of his crew of talented girls runners.

The Redskins won without senior Joie Johnston, ranked seventh-best statewide, as Henley opted to rest Johnston and give his other runners an opportunity to make a case for the team's top seven, which will compete at the state meet.

Cabell Midland placed third with 89 points to also advance. Huntington finished fourth (105) and St. Albans fifth (121).

On the boys side, Winfield's R.J. Weiford claimed first individually in 17:05.8, with Midland winning its 16th straight regional title.

The Knights placed six runners in the top eight, with senior Brandon Atkinson leading the way in second place at 17:11.7. Top Midland runner Nick Salmons did not run as coach Chris Parsons indicated earlier in the week might be the case, with Parsons opting to give other runners one more bid to be part of the team's top seven.

Hurricane senior Jake Henley finished fifth to pace the second-place Redskins, which finished 35 points behind Midland. Sophomore Alex Hughes (ninth) and senior Jacob Harmon (10th) also posted top-10 performances for Hurricane.

Weiford's effort led Winfield, which finished third overall in advancing to the state meet.

St. Albans had hoped to threaten Winfield for the final team spot, though fell 23 points behind the Generals. Red Dragons sophomore Josh Endres qualified individually with his finish in 17:50.7, though teammate Jon Sandy narrowly missed the cut with his time of 17:55.2.

Class AA/A Region 4

Buffalo junior Hayden Harrison, ranked No. 1 in the state, defended his regional title by winning the individual boys championship ahead of Wirt County's Glen McMillan for the second straight season.

The Bison placed second as a team, led by Harrison's effort, to advance. Wirt County won the boys team championship, and Nicholas County placed third to qualify for state, too.

Greg Hart advanced individually for fourth-place Charleston Catholic, as did Herbert Hoover senior Josh McClung, who finished seventh.

On the girls side, fourth-ranked Charleston Catholic posted three runners in the top 10 to take first ahead of second-place finisher Nicholas County and third-place Wirt County, as all three teams advanced. Sophomore Hannah Gacek paced the Irish effort to finish third, while sophomore Lia Preston took fifth place and junior Peyton Keener placed seventh.

"They responded really, really well and pushed it about as hard as they could and beat their times from their previous times they ran at Capital," Irish coach Scott Welch said.

Ravenswood seniors Hailey Miller and Taylor Treadway advanced to the state meet individually with a one-two finish.

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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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