CHARLESTON - Parkersburg's blueprint for boys soccer has its followers.
Unfortunately for PHS, since it doesn't own the copyright, a school like Hurricane can't be charged for infringement when it decides to pattern their approach using the standards established by the Big Reds.
Wednesday afternoon at Coonskin Park's Schoenbaum Soccer Complex, the Redskin program claimed its first state title after defeating PHS, 2-0, in the finals of Class AAA.
Photo by Jeff Baughan
Parkersburg's Tyler Broadwater, right, heads the ball away from Hurricane's Ian Miles. The Big Reds lost, 2-0, in their Class AAA finals Wednesday at Coonskin Park in Charleston.
It was seven years ago when Jim Dagostine took over as head coach at Hurricane.
"When I took the coaching job, Parkersburg is the one who I went to watch play," Dagostine said. "I wanted to see who the very best was and we kind of went from there."
Second-ranked PHS, which ended the campaign at 17-4-4, came within one win from capturing its seventh state title.
W.Va. state soccer tournament
At Schoenbaum Soccer Complex, Charleston
Class AAA boys
Hurricane 2, Parkersburg 0
PHS (17-4-4) 0 0 -0
Hurricane (23-0-1) 1 1 - 2
H: Evan Miles (Mathew Morgan assist), 3:21, 1st half
H: Alex White (unassisted), 2:02, 2nd half
This year's runner-up showing was its third in nine trips to the state tournament.
Hurricane closed out at 23-0-1, with the one tie taking place against PHS in the regular-season finale for both teams.
"I hate losing, but you have to tip your hat to the team that beat you," PHS coach Don Fosselman said. "They just have a very special team, and they play the game of soccer very well."
Hurricane stepped onto the field as the top-ranked team in the state. The Redskins' credentials included a 4-0 victory over Hedgesville in Tuesday's semifinal round and a goal against average of 0.61 by their previous 23 opponents.
The number only grew smaller as keeper Tim Hayslett recorded the shutout against PHS. His offense provided all the necessary scoring when Mathew Morgan's indirect kick from just inside the midfield stripe found teammate Evan Miles deep inside the box. Miles converted the scoring opportunity for the game's first goal with 3:21 remaining before intermission.
Hurricane nearly doubled its advantage four minutes into the second half. Alex White took possession inside PHS territory and directed a pass to Felipe Thompson cutting down the left side of the field. Thompson's shot on goal found the opposite corner of the net, but the goal was nullified after the Redkins were whistled for being offsides.
The one-goal difference remained intact when White took matters into his own hands with time winding down in regulation. The senior kept control of the dribble as he made his way toward the box and with a PHS defender on his tail, he sent a shot from the right side of the field and found the back of the net for a 2-0 Hurricane lead with 2:02 showing on the clock.
"Hurricane is real strong up front," PHS keeper Reid Strobl said. "They have a real strong middle, plus they had the foreign exchange student (Felipe Thompson) who could dominate the upper third.
"We had good defenders like Tyler Bro and Tyler Broadwater to try and stop them, but sometimes it was too much. They had a lot of good players who came through and scored goals today."
PHS graduates four members - Garrett Kruger, Zac Wilcoxen, Cameron Morris and Tyler Broadwater -from its starting 11.
"Even though we didn't get a whole lot of shots on goal, I did think we had two nice opportunities," Fosselman said. "On one, I don't know how it stayed out with Tyler Miller on the backpost. We also had a nice ball played through the back for Matt Powney, who just couldn't quite get to it.
"We had to fight and claw for everything. We knew we were the underdogs going in, but that didn't deter our determination nor our effort. I thought we played very well and I'm very proud."