AA-A soccer: East Fairmont boys eliminate Charleston Catholic
BECKLEY - East Fairmont had the Class AA-A state tournament buzzing while Sissonville made up for lost time on the girls side.
Freshman Logan Cerullo scored a goal with 80 seconds left in sudden-death double overtime to send the surprising Bees past four-time defending state champion Charleston Catholic 1-0 Friday evening in the boys semifinals at Carter Field at the YMCA Youth Sports Complex.
Sissonville scored three goals late in the opening half en route to a 3-1 victory over Fairmont Senior in the girls semis. In the other girls semifinal, Alexis Lindsey notched a goal in sudden-death OT to send defending state champion Bridgeport past PikeView 2-1.
Sissonville (21-0-3), which finished the season No. 1 in the AA-A state coaches association rankings, will face No. 4 Bridgeport (16-3-3) at 11 a.m. today in the AA-A girls championship game at Carter Field.
Sissonville lost in the 2011 title matchup 2-0 to Grafton, while Bridgeport won its first title last year with a 3-2 win over Fairmont Senior.
Sissonville, the only undefeated team left in AA-A girls, had lost four of the past five seasons in the regional finals.
"There's nothing like it at all,'' said Sissonville senior Mary Schmeck, who scored the first goal in Friday's semis and was on the 2011 Indians team. "I can't compare this to anything in the world. It's amazing and we feel so blessed.''
No. 3 East Fairmont (16-4-3) will play in its first title game, taking on No. 4 PikeView (19-4-1) in the AA-A boys final at approximately 1:15 p.m. today. PikeView eliminated No. 11 Robert C. Byrd (15-7-2) 2-0 in the second semifinal Friday night behind two goals from Benjamin Ellis.
The Panthers, who have been to states two of the past three seasons, will compete today in their first title game.
"That team had a lot of heart,'' Catholic's Joey Trupo said of East Fairmont. "They knew what they wanted and they were out to get it. They were the most competitive team we played this year . . . maybe not the most skilled. They wanted it more than any other team we've played this season.''
Here's a capsule look at Friday's games:
"I just hit it and saw the ball in the air,'' said Cerullo, who notched his ninth goal. "It's just amazing. I thought we just played really well. We hustled to the ball.''
The teams were scoreless after 80 minutes of regulation and 10 minutes of the first sudden-death OT and nearly all of the second 10-minute sudden-death extra period. If no one had scored after the second 10-minute OT, the game would have been decided on penalty kicks.
Bees keeper Brett Metheny stopped eight shots, including several in diving stabs. Catholic's Kline turned in six saves.
Catholic, which was handed its first shutout of the season, had won six straight entering states. The Irish saw their 64-match winning streak come to an end this year and lost three games during the regular season, including back-to-back losses for the first time since 2008.
"It's just one of those plays that you watch happen and can't do much,'' Trupo said of Cerullo's shot. "You see [the play] forming and forming and you say, 'OK, it's not going to go in.' It's one of those situations you just can't help.''
"It was so valuable,'' said Schmeck of her score. "Ultimately it would decide what the rest of the game would feel like. We would still be hungry for more.''
"We knew it was important to get the early goal so we can keep up the intensity and that's just what we did,'' added Rhodes, who was also on the 2011 team that lost in the finals.
Sissonville keeper Brooke Reed made a one-on-one stop early in the first half to set the tone.
Fairmont Senior's Megan Wilt netted a goal two minutes into the second half, but Reed stonewalled the Polar Bears, last year's state runner-up, the rest of the way. Reed finished with six saves.
"I had faith we could come back,'' said Fairmont Senior first-year coach Ryann Moore, whose team lost 4-1 to Sissonville during the regular season. "We had the first opportunities of the first half and we just couldn't cash in.''
Crysta Meekins gave PikeView a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute after battling for control of the ball before putting it in the net. Mikayla Oliverio knotted the game at 1-all in the 34th minute after dribbling straight down the field and sending a shot from about 12 yards out.
Bridgeport keeper Morgan Willis turned in two saves. PikeView has now lost in the state semis five of the last six years.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at email@example.com or 304-348-4811.