Boys’ Soccer: Wheeling Park Advances

WHEELING – Brooke junior keeper Chris Beaman did everything he could.

While he kept Wheeling Park in check in the first half – and closer than expected – it just wasn’t enough as the Patriots advanced in the West Virginia Class AAA Region I, Section I soccer tournament.

Senior Zach Vanhorn scored a pair of early goals and Wheeling Park sent a barrage of 24 shots toward the net as the Patriots took care of business with a convincing 7-0 victory against the Bruins on a chilly Tuesday night.

With the victory, Coach Mario Julian’s squad (14-4-2) advances to take on Parkersburg, which beat South 5-0 Tuesday night, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday back on the island.

“There are a lot of seniors on this team and plenty of postseason experience,” Julian said. “These kids know what it takes to be successful and we are just focusing on getting one win at time and taking it one game at a time. The next one is Thursday.”

Beaman did a fine job early, denying three Park shots before Vanhorn collected a pass deep in the box and drilled it into net at 32:15 to give the Patriots an early 1-0 advantage.

While Wheeling Park was providing an all-out assault on the Brooke goal, with nine shots in the initial 20 minutes of play, the first Bruins shot came at 18:18 of the opening half on sophomore Dalton Minger’s effort that was knocked away on a diving save by Ryan Seidewitz.

Soon after, with 15:58 showing, Vanhorn’s second goal of the half, this one coming from about 15 yards away, pushed the lead to 2-0. The Patriots made it a three-goal advantage late in the half on a 25-yard bomb from Landon Irwin with 37 seconds remaining.

It took senior midfielder Eric Bonar 48 seconds into the second half to turn it into a 4-0 lead after his header was deflected, but he managed to stay with the ball and tap it into net. Nate Mauck’s goal at 34:02, on a nice side pass from Vanhorn, pushed the margin to 5-0.

Grant Robinson’s goal with 21:09 remaining made it 6-0 before Jake Klatt’s shot skipped off of Beaman’s hand before falling into net to complete the 7-0 rout.

“We want to come into every game focused and ready to play the right way,” Julian added. “Our approach is to pass, move without the ball, pass and the end result being a goal. There is no question we were getting some good shots early on, but we just wasn’t doing a good job finishing.

“But we kept with it, we did an outstanding job passing which lead to us creating some things and eventually the ball started going into the net.”

Interim Brooke coach Sean Beaman agreed that his team did a good job competing in the first half.

“He (Chris Beaman) did a good job, especially early on,” Sean Beaman said. “This is just his first year playing soccer and he has really come a long way, especially from the beginning of the season.

“Park is a very tough team and we are really young. We have 20 kids on our roster and 17 of them are underclassmen. But the positive side of that is that they will all be back next year and hopefully we can get things turned around.”

To his point, every goal the Bruins scored this this season was by a sophomore.”

While the Patriots were getting off 24 shots, the Park defense was also doing its part, limiting the Bruins to the one attempt game-long.