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BOYS' SOCCER: Mohigans Best Crusaders

September 30, 2012
By JOSH STROPE - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - After knocking out top-seeded Weir in the quarterfinals, Morgantown left Wheeling Island Stadium on Saturday with a little more history in the OVAC Cup Tournament.

The Mohigans defeated Steubenville Catholic, 4-1, in the semifinals, earning the first finals appearance in school history while also becoming the first No. 8 seed - boys or girls - to make it to the title game.

Morgantown takes on Wheeling Park, the four-time defending champion, at 5:30 p.m. Monday at Wheeling Island Stadium.

"The team played very well," Morgantown coach Joe Melia said. "We came out a little flat and couldn't put the balls away. In the second half we turned it around.

"Seeds mean nothing. This is the first time we've been in the tournament. But there is no way we are an 8 seed and we wanted to show them. We expected to get to the finals."

Leo Herrman scored on a breakaway in the 48th minute for Steubenville Catholic to knot the game at 1-1, and it looked like the Crusaders could be off and running.

Coach Steve Kopcha's group did a good job on the Mohigans, only allowing a Morgantown goal in the 35th minute on a penalty kick by David Minehart.

Instead, the momentum went the other way.

The Mohigans buckled down and limited Steubenville Central to two shots the rest of the way. And those came after Morgantown had already put two more on the board.

Moses Lawer-Yohart took a through ball and lifted it over a hard-charging Crusaders goalie John Bolster in the 62nd minute.

Less than four minutes later, Chris Atallah put the Mohigans up two with a turnaround shot that beat a surprised Bolster.

"Both teams played a tremendous game and I thought we had a chance with them," Kopcha said. "Seeing them for the first time, they are a very nice team. They controlled the ball, have a little bit more speed than we did and a little bit more height.

"Their possession they were able to maintain really caused problems for us. They applied a lot of pressure on us after we scored the goal."

Minehart completed the scoring with a goal in the 75th minute, following up his own shot.

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