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South falls to GW

George Washington scores twice in second half to rally past PSHS

Photo by Joe Albright Parkersburg South striker Samara Nunn sends a shot past George Washington’s Olivia Epperly towards the GW Patriots goal in the first half of South’s 3-2 loss on Tuesday from the Erickson All-Sports Facility.

PARKERSBURG — A possible Class AAA girls’ soccer state championship preview between No. 2 Parkersburg South and No. 3 George Washington lived up to the hype Tuesday night at Erickson All-Sports Facility.

South’s Samara Nunn scored two goals, GW’s Ava Trethewey also found the back of the net twice, including the game-winning goal in the 65th minute, and the visiting Patriots left with a 3-2 victory. The game saw a tie and three-lead changes between two teams looking for deep runs into the postseason. It also was the first loss to an in-state team this season for the host Patriots.

“We were missing a few players but that is never an excuse. We had some girls who needed to step up,” Parkersburg South head coach Ron Bucholtz said. “We just didn’t play the game we were capable of playing from start to finish. They are a very good team and we knew that. We gave the girls a good scouting report on how to play their team. You have to give George Washington credit, they had a good game plan and they played well. They brought more intensity from start to finish.”

That was especially true in the second half, when the visiting Patriots’ seemingly took control of the contest.

George Washington finished with 10 shots on goal, and Parkersburg South 7, with just two of those coming in the second half. And it was Tretheway’s goal that finally gave the Patriots their first lead since 1-0 making the difference.

The junior midfielder, who repeatedly beat South’s defenders around the end all night, took a nearly dead on shot from approximately five feat in front of the goal. The shot came six minutes after she sent one off of Parkersburg South goalie Mackenzie Mott’s gloves.

Bucholtz was not happy.

“To let one player beat you three times from midfield, there’s just no excuse for letting one player beat us down the lane,” he said.

Aside from her goal giving the Patriots the lead, it was just the fourth goal given up by South in the second half the entire season. But, it was one from which they never recovered. The home Patriots only took one more shot on goal, despite being awarded two more corner kicks.

Trethewey’s first score put the Patriots up 1-0 just 12 minutes into the contest. She took a hard angle in front of Mott and fired away. The ball soared across the face of the net before banging in.

“It took us getting scored on in the first half to really wake up,” Bucholtz said. But once they were awake, the Patriots went to work.

Nunn’s 10th and 11th goals of the past four games brought her group back from the early 1-0 deficit. Nunn sent the equalizer off the foot of Jozy Barton and fired it past a diving GW goal keeper Madison Adkins in the 36th minute. Nunn then found herself in the right place at the right time two minutes later. This time she beat Adkins to a loose ball, finding an open net after the Patriot keeper missed the ball. She then buried a shot in the back of the net.

“That was kind of like they poked the sleeping bear,” Bucholtz said of the early GW goal. “We started putting all kinds of pressure on them and got to good goals off good passing play. And then the second half, we came out thinking we were going to take it to them, because we have been playing better in the second half, but almost the whole second half was played on our end of the field.”

That didn’t help the Patriots, at all.

Reagan Bromiley capitalized on South’s inability to clear a Trethewey attempt to pull her group even. “I have no idea what happened on the second goal. Mac made a great save, but second shot looks like we watched it go into the net. I am going to have to look at the film on that one.

Making things worse for the home team? Nunn sat on the bench with an injury as South tried to make a comeback. But, the Patriots didn’t get more than two chances to take the lead, before Trethewey found the back of the net.

It was a thrilling way to finish the regular-season for both teams. And the rematch might be even more exciting.

Should the two teams meet at the state tournament in Beckley, things will look different. Back in the lineup for Parkersburg South will be Ava Barton and Maddi Vance. Even with their absences in this game, Bucholtz still sounded satisfied with his team’s effort.

“Defensively, this was not our best effort. They are a very good offensive team. We are going to have to play some better defensive soccer and some of that came from the long balls we were forcing up the field and they were just slamming it down our throat,” he said. “Given that, we played well given we were short some players.

“But obviously going forward we are going to have to play better if we want to play for a state championship.”

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