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GIRLS' SOCCER: Bruins Give Mohigans A Battle

Morgantown repeats as Cup champion

October 2, 2012
By JOSH STROPE - Staff Writer ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

WHEELING - As a No. 6 seed, Brooke made an impressive run to the OVAC Cup Tournament final and a date with defending West Virginia Class AAA and OVAC champion Morgantown.

Unfortunately for the Bruins, the Mohigans were just too much.

Morgantown will bring the OVAC Cup back on the bus with it after a convincing 3-0 victory Monday at Wheeling Island Stadium.

Article Photos

Brooke’s Lauren Altobell (14) controls the ball as Morgantown’s Maggie Snively looks on Monday.

Photo by Josh Strope

''The coaching staff and myself are really proud of the way the girls played,'' Brooke coach Lee Weppler said. ''In the first half, they showed a lot of poise but we just didn't put any passes together and Morgantown had us on our heels backing up. A good team like Morgantown, you can't be constantly backing up and giving them space to play.

''The first half, the chips fell where they may. We lost a couple marks on some set pieces and they made us pay for it.''

Brooke had just one shot on a goal off a direct kick from Cheyenne Hudson late in the second half. The Bruins spent most of the match chasing a Morgantown team that often looked like it was just playing keepaway.

Morgantown went on top in the 20th minute when defender Kelsie Hibbs headed Payton Southall's corner kick past Brooke netminder Marena Cline.

Natasha Trott made it 2-0 five minutes later with a shot that Cline got a piece of but was unable from keeping the ball across the goal line.

''You can't get behind a team like that because you have to press up and that leaves holes in other parts of the field where they can take advantage of,'' Weppler said.

That score held up until the 77th minute when the Mohigans, who return 10 starters from last season's team, completed the scoring as Sydney Lavengood found the back of the net for a 3-0 advantage.

''It's a great way to lead us into the state tournament,'' Morgantown coach Ashley Neal said. ''There are a lot of good teams and any given night, it's who wants it more. We really came out to play. We were pretty focused. It's win or go home and you have to have that mentality. You have to bring it and they brought it.

''Even when I played in high school, Brooke was tough. They always had skill players and I knew they had two girls up top that could make some plays, midfielders that could win the ball and a good goalkeeper. I knew we had to just play our game and we'd do well.

''There is a lot of pressure on us. It was nervewracking for me until 10 minutes left in the game and I think they felt it, too. But we played with a sense of urgency and that's what you need to do because you can't sit back on your heels at states.''

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