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George Washington’s Kalissa Lacy (15) celebrates with teammate Antoinette Yoakum after Lacy got the ball past Greenbrier East goalkeeper Meghan Hofman and Bayle Blankenship (1) to score a goal in the first period.

Things were starting to unravel a bit for George Washington Saturday afternoon, but Ava Trethewey was there to pick up the pieces. And then some.

The freshman midfielder tallied a golden goal with 4:23 remaining in the first overtime, giving the Patriots a 4-3 victory against Greenbrier East and the Region 3 championship at Trace Fork.

“I think I was just in the right place at the right time, for sure,’’ Trethewey said. “Linsey [Hackney] had it up the line and kind of tossed it to me, and I just finished it. It feels really good.’’

The win sends the Patriots (14-5-1) into the state tournament in Beckley at approximately 7 p.m. Friday against Region 2 champ Hedgesville.

George Washington was enjoying a comfortable 3-1 lead with 30:11 remaining in the second half after Reagan Bromiley converted a penalty kick, but the Spartans (14-4-1) managed to flip the momentum in their favor for the final portion of regulation.

Emma Dotson scored for East off a corner kick with 23:03 remaining to bring her team within one score. The Spartans got the equalizer with 6:46 left on Elinor McLeod’s goal.

The frantic final 2:30 of regulation featured some good scoring chances for both sides, and it ended with a GW shot caroming off the goal post at the buzzer.

GW coach Ali Sadeghian said his squad was shorthanded, which might have led to a lack of energy as the game unfolded.

“We only have 12 players to rotate in [because of injuries], and it hurts us,’’ Sadeghian said. “But I give credit [to East]. They really did a great job, and it kept them in the game.

“I try to tell the girls that this game is not over until it’s over, but usually that’s when it happens. Still, a credit to [East] but we did the best we can. I’m just happy for our girls, as young as we are. Just to succeed and go to the state. For these young girls, I’m very proud of them.’’

GW had just repelled an East foray about halfway into the first 10-minute OT when the Patriots sent the ball back the other way in a hurry. It found its way to Trethewey running down the middle of the field, and she managed to sneak a shot under East keeper Meghan Hofmann for the winner.

The Patriots build a 2-1 halftime advantage on a pair of quick goals by Trethewey (at the 38:22 mark) and Kalissa Lacy (30:41), answered by a score off the foot of the Spartans’ McLeod (18:25).

Hofmann had a stellar save for East in the final few seconds of the first half. Later, GW keeper Mary Lyles Smith stopped a direct kick by Kate Perkins with 14-plus minutes left in regulation, keeping the score at 3-2.

The two programs have now met in the regional five straight years, with GW winning three of the matches.

Contact Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickryan@wvgazettemail.com. Follow him on Twitter @RickRyanWV.