By J. Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
Repeat and revenge.
Those are the two words on the mind of defending state champion Winfield as it enters today’s Class AAA state soccer semifinals.
The Lady Generals (21-1-0) will begin their quest for history tonight, as they look for their fifth state championship. With another piece of hardware in their trophy case, Winfield will take sole possession of the most championships in West Virginia girls soccer. They’re currently tied with Wheeling Park at four apiece.
Winfield comes into the tournament outscoring its opponents 110-10, led by junior Jayne Lawman (21 goals) and freshman Mary Lawman (19 goals). Sophomore Jordan Pauley has added 12 goals, while fellow classmate Mackenzie Pritt has scored 10.
While Winfield has managed to simply out-shoot its victims, its opponent in tonight’s 5 p.m. matchup will be the only team who has defeated the Gens this season. Morgantown held the high octane Winfield attack scoreless in a 1-0 defeat on Oct. 5.
The Mohigans have had the Generals’ number in recent years. Morgantown won it’s first state title in 2011, going 100 minutes in a scoreless match, before finally settling it 3-2 in a shootout.
If either team is looking to claim another championship in 2013, however, it will first have to knock off its nemisis.
Standing in the way of the potent attack of Winfield? Morgantown goalkeeper Katey Sharpe.
The 5-foot-4 senior has 14 shutouts on the season, including one against each of the other three tournament teams — Winfield, Washington and George Washington.
Morgantown will look to direct its goals through senior forward Maggie Snively, who has 20 on the season, as well as future University of Texas-San Antonio midfielder Makayla Schmidt.
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While it’s highly doubtful that our first president ever played soccer, two schools that bear his name will take to the pitch in the nightcap as the George Washington Patriots (18-2-3) from Charleston will take on the Washington Patriots (15-6-2) from Charles Town.
George Washington rolled through the sectional tournament, beating Ripley 13-0 in the semifinal and Riverside 8-0, but struggled to put away Woodrow Wilson in the regional final, despite outshooting the Flying Eagles 11-0.
It took a missed penalty kick, 100 minutes of soccer and a shootout before coach Megan Johnson’s team was able to secure its return to the state tournament.
GW’s stingy defense, lead by senior captains Rachel Mears and Taylor Ellis, as well as junior goalkeeper Olivia Miller has kept offenses in check all season, while junior forward Sarah Bodnar leads the way with 18 goals.
The Charleston-based Patriots are looking to return to their second straight championship game and seek revenge on a Winfield team that beat them 4-2 in overtime a year ago. But before they’re able to do that, the Charles Town Patriots will look to spoil the party.
Washington High has had no problem scoring goals this season, netting a season high nine in a victory over Berkley Springs in September, but has struggled to score more than three goals in its last six matches.
The young team features five freshmen and six sophomores on the 22-player roster, but has found great talent in freshman forward Atley Fortney, who leads the Lady Pats with 16 goals.
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Morgantown and Winfield will take to the pitch at Cline Stadium at 5 p.m. with the George Washington and Washington match following 30 minutes after the conclusion.
The two winners will advance to the Class AAA championship game, to be played 45 minutes after the conclusion of the boys championship, which will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.