WEIRTON - City rivals Weir and Weirton Madonna clashed in a tightly fought West Virginia Class AA-A Region 1, Section 1 tournament match Thursday at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
In the end the Red Riders were able to cash in on an opportunity in each half, and received great play in goal by freshman Alyssa Kelly en route to a 2-0 victory.
"It was definitely much better than last time we played them, won 1-0, and barely got a shot off with about 10 minutes left that went in," said Weir head coach Jessica Naughton. "Today we were a lot more focused, getting the ball up, getting some shots off, and ours just seemed to go in.
CONTROLLING THE BALL — Weir’s Alyssa Shingle makes a move past Weirton Madonna’s Gaby Kotten during the Red Riders 2-0 West Virginia Class AA-A Region 1, Section 1 win Thursday at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
-- Fred Younce
"Thank God for our goalie, she came up big being a freshman in a playoff game."
With 25:32 left in the first half, Weir scored its first goal on an outstanding individual effort by Alyssa Shingle. Morgan Cassels dropped back to Shingle, who then weaved through four Madonna defenders to herself a one-on-one with goaltender Amy Davis, and sent a shot into the right side of the net for the 1-0 Lady Riders lead.
"Alyssa took the ball, beat three or four of our defenders and got a great shot off," said Madonna head coach Bob Kolanko. "She did an awesome job on that."
Both teams failed to capitalize on chances through the rest of the first half, and into the second half leading to Kelly making the biggest play of the evening with about 14 minutes left.
The Blue Dons got a shot off from the corner that was saved by Kelly. Two rebound attempts were then turned away, one by Kelly and one by a defender, setting up a third shot that seemed destined for the right side of the net. Kelly had other ideas though, diving left and knocking the ball out of play.
"They got some offense going, she made three saves, and that last one she got to the side I definitely thought it was a goal," said Naughton. "Madonna never gave up, got us on our heels a couple times."
Added Kolanko, "We had an opportunity in the second half, four shots on goal, and Alyssa Kelly stepped up and made that great save. That right there was a momentum swing I think."
Weir was able to capitalize on a similar play with 12:03 left to ice the game. Cassels sent a shot from the corner that Davis made a terrific diving save on. Unfortunately for the Lady Dons they were unable to clear the ball, and Francesca Rock pushed the rebound over the line to make the score 2-0.
"Then they got the shot down here," said Kolanko. "Basically the same type of opportunity we had, but they were able to finish it."
Kelly ended the night with eight saves for the Red Riders. Davis had three for the Blue Dons.
The loss ended Madonna's season with an 8-8-3 record.
"I have one senior," said Kolanko. "She's the goalkeeper and a great girl. It's going to be hard to lose her because of what she's been to the team for the last four years.
"We have a very strong underclass coming up. Our sophomores are going to be a super team for us. Our juniors are really going to start leading us next year. Having four juniors is going to help us out. Win or lose this was a great group of girls to coach.
"I can't be happier with what they did today and what they've done all season. We knew this was going to be a rebuilding year, but we exceeded our expectations."
Weir advances to the Region 1, Section 1 final where it hosts Wheeling Central Saturday at 2 p.m. at Jimmy Carey Stadium.
"We played to a 3-2 loss to them on their field earlier in the year," said Naughton. "The defense slipped and they got a one-on-one with the goalie. I think it's going to be a physical game.
"They're physical, and we'll come out and play physical too so it should be a great game on Saturday."
Oak Glen blanked
WHEELING - The Oak Glen girls soccer team dropped a 8-0 decision to Wheeling Central Thursday in the West Virginia Class AA-A Regions 1, Section 1 tournament.
Golden Bears goaltender Casey Highfield had four saves in the loss.
The Maroon Knights received a hat trick from Aspen Matlock and a pair of goals with an assist from Beth Stayduhar. Ashton Cross assisted on five scores and added a goal. Bailey Clark and Maria Miller each had a goal while Mary Stahl had an assist. Regan Blaha saved five shots in the shut out.
Wheeling Central advances to face Weir in the Region 1, Section 1 final at Jimmy Carey Stadium Saturday at 2 p.m.
Central loses close one
ZANESVILLE - The Steubenville Catholic Central girls soccer team lost 1-0 to No. 1 seed Coshocton in the Ohio Division II Sectional Co-final Thursday.
The Redskins (16-1) scored the game's lone goal eight minutes in when Nikki Carling put the ball in the back of the net.
Central (9-7-2) played great defense throughout the contest led by Moriah Vosteen's 13 saves.
Coshocton moves on to district play in Athens next week.
Oak Glen sweeps Weir
WEIRTON - The Oak Glen volleyball team swept Weir 25-20, 25-17, 25-8 Thursday.
Individually for the Golden Bears, Lacee Porter recorded seven points, nine kills, three blocks and three digs; Morgan Poling produced four points, seven kills, seven blocks and eight digs; and Sydney Kell collected eight points, 23 assists, and four digs.
Abby Tice tallied 10 points, two kills and six digs; Vanessa Hissam added four points, seven kills and four digs; and Kaitlyn Smith contributed 12 points and eight digs. Jessica Stivason netted nine kills and three blocks, Carissa Williams scored three points to go along with 12 assists.
The Red Riders received 22 digs from Erin Hawthorne, 34 sets from Samantha McCartney, nine digs and 37 sets from Haley McLaughlin, and nine kills, three aces, six blocks, and four digs from Kimberlyn Persina.
Selena Wolverton had four kills and seven digs, Elizabeth Hush had three kills, Morgan Goff had five digs, Michayla Dobosz had six kills, and Lauren Rosnick had 12 digs and three kills.
Minerva tops Cambridge
STEUBENVILLE - The Minerva boys soccer team defeated Cambridge 2-0 in the Ohio Division II Sectional Co-final at Harding Stadium Thursday.
Tyler Stewart scored both goals for the Lions. James Thompson and Nathan Smith each had an assist. Justin Schotts stopped 23 shots in goal.
Bobcats goalie Kevin Scrudders had 20 saves.
Minerva advances to the district final Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Riverview where it will face the winner of Saturday's upper bracket sectional final between Beaver Local and Steubenville Big Red.