WHEELING - As a freshman,Michaela Hinerman played an important role in Brooke's OVAC Cup Championship game. Not that she was on the field. She served as the ball girl for an experienced, running the sidelines, keeping the ball in play.
That night, the Bruins fell to Linsly.
Monday night, three years removed from that night at Wheeling Island Stadium, Hinerman was back. So was Linsly.
Photo by Dave Morrison
Brooke’s Leila Hannaoui (22) tries to control the ball as Linsly’s Leah Memmo moves in Monday.
This time Hinerman played the lead role, scoring both of the Bruins goals in a 2-0 victory against the Cadets to claim the girls' OVAC Cup championship.
"There were 11 seniors on that team," Hinerman said, explaining why she wasn't on the varsity team in 2010. "I was just trying to do whatever I could to help the team out. But I couldn't wait to get my shot to try to win this."
Last year she had her first shot, but the Bruins lost to Morgantown.
That simply added fuel to Hinerman's fire, and she came out with the resolve that she wouldn't be denied in her finally opportunity.
So did her teammates.
Hinerman scored early, off a cross from fellow senior and fellow captain Dynah Sayre.
The pass was picture perfect, leaving Hinerman to simply tap the ball into the net for the goal just 5:21 into the game.
"That's always the plan," Hinerman said. "Score quickly and put the pressure on the other team. It was a nice pass. We've been working together on that and it's worked out for us a lot lately."
The shots didn't stop there.
Time after time Brooke peppered the goal, taking eight shots in the first half alone, but Linsly goalkeeper Vivian Allison was equal to the task.
Until early in the second half, when Hinerman again struck, at the 32:02 mark.
"She's tenacious," Brooke coach Lee Weppler said. "She really has good control. When she finishes like (Monday) she is one of the best forwards in the state."
"They are an aggressive team and they played that way," Linsly coach Erica Hall said. "They have a way of taking you out of the style that you play. They did that. If you are a goalkeeper, you don't want to give up two goals in a 2-0 game but Viv played great. On the two they got, nobody was going to get to those."
Hinerman's two goals was all the Bruins needed.
"All credit goes to them," Hall said. "They came out ready to play and ready to win and that's what they did."
It was a big victory for Brooke, which is no stranger to the OVAC Cup finals, having made the trip previously five of the last six years.
"Just to make it into the OVAC Cup is special," Weppler said. "This one is a little more special. It's the last year the OVAC is going to include all divisions together. From now on it will be all about divisions so I think that makes it special for the girls."
Brooke keeper Payge Farmer didn't have a lot of work, thanks to the Bruins' aggressive offensive nature, which kept the pressure on Linsly most of the evening.
Linsly did have a pair of scoring opportunities late, once as the ball passed the defense and Maleha Kureishy nearly got to it and slid into Farmer, trying to redirect the ball to the back of the net.
Farmer was taken down on the play, but gamely got up and finished the game in goal, making another stop on a cross late.
All told, Brooke took 12 shots in the game, five by Hinerman.
Farmer saved both of the shot attempts Linsly had and was credited with the shutout.
"When we play that way, we usually come out on top," Hinerman said. "We haven't won this one in a while. It feels good to win."