George Washington’s Nick Ihnat’s play this season helped the Patriots to a Class AAA boys soccer state tournament appearance and he is the All-Kanawha Valley boys Player of the Year.
The Patriots fell to Washington in the Class AAA state semifinals but Ihnat said he thinks he and his team had a strong showing.
“Overall I think it was a really great year,” Ihnat said. “We had a tremendous season. Obviously we couldn’t get the end job done, but aside from that, it was an amazing season.”
The senior forward led his team with 32 goals, tallied 11 assists and was the consensus leader for the Patriots.
“This is the second year we’ve had Nick and I really wish that we’d had him for four years,” GW coach Erik Engle said. “Not just because he’s a great soccer player but because he’s a great kid.
“He was a true leader on this team when it came time for the players to gather around each other and speak. He was the one who led the conversations.”
With his 32 goals, Ihnat broke GW’s single-season scoring record of 28 goals.
“That [record] had been around for probably about seven years,” Engle said. “He actually did it making it look pretty easy. When you go into the season with the talent he has, you really don’t have any expectations. You just know he’s gonna play well and he did. Every night.”
“Breaking the scoring record was definitely one good personal accomplishment I had,” Ihnat said. “I think the more the season went on, it just became more of a reality. But I would definitely trade it for the state championship.”
Ihnat is joined by teammates Gabe Sadorra and Sam Clark on the All-Kanawha Valley team.
Three other Kanawha Valley boys posted strong totals this season to earn All-KV team honors. Poca’s Jacob Farley scored a state-leading 47 goals, Herbert Hoover’s Bryson Beaver followed with 46 and Sissonville’s Jaxson Haynes scored 39.
Levi Paxton is Hoover’s other All-KV team member as he led the state with 30 assists.
For Capital, forward Chase Hudson and goalkeeper Brayden Scott made the team. Sully Groom and William Ball are Charleston Catholic’s representatives. Mason Ekstrom represents St. Albans, Christian Johnson represents Hurricane and CJ Knapper made the team for South Charleston.
Winfield’s Everett Miller won All-KV Freshman of the Year and Capital coach Cleef Desir is the All-KV Coach of the Year.