Charleston Catholic's Joey Trupo (right) makes a sliding stop on Washington's Ben Capriolo.
In its first test of mental and physical toughness, Charleston Catholic came through with flying colors Saturday afternoon.After a scoreless opening half, Sam Revercomb and William Scriptunas scored a goal apiece to propel the Class A Fighting Irish past AAA Washington 2-0 in boys high school soccer. A crowd of about 100 attended the matchup at Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium at Coonskin Park.The mostly clear skies gave the players little break from the blazing sun as temperatures approached 90 degrees and much higher on the artificial turf, which prompted both coaches to substitute frequently.It was also a showdown of state soccer powers. Catholic (4-0) is the reigning Class AA-A three-time state champion while Washington, which is located in the Eastern Panhandle, was the AAA runner-up last year, losing to George Washington 5-2.
"It's the first time at halftime that we've been tied [this season],'' said Catholic coach Sam Fox. "We pointed that out to the boys and they came out in the second half and got the job done."It's our fourth game in a week. You could tell they were a little tired, but they came out the second half and played well. Washington is a really good team. It's a nice win for us.''Catholic had plenty of chances in the first half to break the game open but couldn't cash in.Revercomb, who had a team-high nine goals entering Saturday's play, had a point-blank shot on goal that Washington keeper Tim Kowalski, who finished with 11 saves, smothered in the 22nd minute.Revercomb sent a rocket off the crossbar in the 12th minute and had a breakaway in the fifth minute, but Kowalski came out of the net and covered up the ball on the turf as Revercomb was winding up for a shot.Revercomb finally broke through less than eight minutes into the second half, putting away an assist from Tanner Whipkey for a 1-0 lead. Scriptunas added an unassisted goal less than three minutes later after a scrum in front of the net. The play became more heated in the second half as the teams combined for four yellow cards - two for each squad.Catholic controlled possession for most of the game, limiting Washington (1-2) to one shot on goal compared to the Irish's 14. Catholic keeper Mitchel Thorsteinson saved the only shot he faced."The competition was very good,'' Fox said. "It was nice to see how we responded in that type of situation. I think we could have finished a little bit better. Defensively, I thought we played well. I don't know of too many opportunities Washington had against us. I thought we improved in certain areas.''In spite of the loss it was a good afternoon for Washington coach Kevin Robins, who is juggling his lineup after returning only three starters. The Patriots made a stop in Parkersburg on Friday night for a game, which they lost 3-0."We lost a couple of big players that are now playing college soccer,'' said Robins. "It's a huge adjustment for us. The young guys are really coming along well. I'm actually playing a couple of freshmen on the varsity team."We wanted to come up here and see how we can hang with the best teams in the state. We learned that as long as we're patient and move the ball we can play with them. I'm real excited about this weekend. Sometimes you go, 'Oh, a loss, that's terrible,' but in this case it's actually a victory for us because we know what we have to work on.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at firstname.lastname@example.org