WHEELING - All good things come to an end and Monday was the end of Wheeling Park's OVAC championship run.
The Patriots were defeated by Morgantown, 2-0, in the OVAC Cup Tournament final at Wheeling Island Stadium, halting their championship streak at four.
''It just didn't go our way,'' Wheeling Park coach Mario Julian said. ''We tried some different things to get our offense going and we had some chances but just didn't get many shots on frame. We didn't pressure them as much as I'd have liked.
Wheeling Park’s Anthony Champman (13) and Morgantown’s David Minehart battle for the ball during Monday’s match.
Photo by Josh Strope
''After the game, we talked about there being 25 OVAC champions and if we would have won them all, we'd be 25-0. We still have a lot of them and that is something to be proud of. We will be back in this game in the future, I am sure of it.''
For Morgantown, its the first in school history in just the first try for the Mohigans. They are also the first No. 8 seed to be crowned champions.
''They had a lot of heart and it showed,'' Morgantown coach Joe Melia said. ''When we play with the heart we showed (Monday), we know we can play with anybody.
''We played Park in a scrimmage game and we beat them. In the regular season, we were too easy on them. We knew that and we didn't play well. We knew we had to come out and be very aggressive.''
That aggressiveness showed from the opening whistle as the Mohigans applied pressure on Wheeling Park and forced some excellent scoring opportunities.
Each time, though, Patriots goalie Ryan Seidewitz was there to turn the Mohigans away and keep his team in it.
But a foul in the penalty box in the 20th minute gave Morgantown a penalty shot and Chris Atallah converted, beating Seidewitz low and to the left.
That score held up through halftime and Wheeling Park entered the second half with a renewed aggression.
Wheeling Park looked like it would tie it up as Ronnell Davis sent a perfect through ball to Jerry Lucas in the opening minutes of the second half, leaving the senior one-on-one with Morgantown goalie Daniel Berrebi.
But Lucas' shot went wide and Morgantown maintained its one-goal lead.
The Mohigans added an insurance goal in the 50th minute as David Minehart sent a perfect volley on a direct kick that Grant Jones headed past Seidewitz for a 2-0 lead.
''It was perfect,'' Melia said. ''I actually yelled at Minehart because he was being such an aerial threat that I didn't want him to take it. But he placed it perfectly and Grant headed it in. I couldn't have been more pleased.''