By J Daniel Rollins
Register-Herald Sports Writer
That’s the word on the lips of the Winfield Lady Generals, as they’re one step closer to their goal of winning their second straight WVSSAC Class AAA state championship.
Winfield dispatched Morgantown 3-1 in Friday’s semifinals.
“It’s a feeling that takes a little bit to grasp,” Winfield coach Marshall Hoff said. “We’ve talked about it and how that feeling is. It’s second to none.”
Winfield was led into battle by its freshman phenom Mary Lawman, who scored two goals: one in the ninth minute and another on a corner kick in the 64th minute.
“It feels really good (to score in the state tournament),” Lawman said.
She’s received plenty of support — and sometimes a little more — from her sister, the Generals’ leading scorer, senior Jayne Lawman, who fed her an assist on her first goal.
“I love playing with her,” Jayne said. “She adds so much to the team.”
The victory allowed the Lady Gens to erase the feeling of their only loss of the season, a 1-0 loss to the Mohigans in Morgantown.
“We prayed hard after we left there,” Hoff said. “One thing we strive to do here is not leave the playing field with what ifs. ‘What if I would have done a little more.’ We always try to leave that to the opponent. We did leave (Morgantown) that day with some ‘what ifs.’ We prayed about it, and the Good Lord put them right here in our path at the state tournament.”
Morgantown defender Sarah Haselbacher, who scored the Mohigans’ only goal of the match, felt that Winfield played with a chip on its shoulder.
“They were mad. They were ready to come out,” she said. “But you know what? So were we. They just scored some really great shots. There was no stopping that.”
Madison Vanscory scored in the 36th minute to give the Gens a 2-0 lead heading into the half — a score with which most coaches are never comfortable.
“A 2-0 lead is probably the most dangerous lead you can have,” Hoff explained. “These young ladies know that. We’ve been on every side of it. We have to win every possession. Winning every second of the match is what we strive to do. They don’t put their sight into where they are in the game. They know they have to play every second of it — just like we were on the other side of two down.”
Despite the loss, Morgantown coach Ashley Neal was proud of her team.
“At halftime I told these girls no excuses and no apologies. They worked hard the whole time,” she said. “We both have talent. We just turned it on too late.”
Winfield will advance to take on Washington in the championship today 45 minutes after the AAA boys final.
“I just hope we can pull through and win it,” Mary Lawman said. “I’m excited.”