Catholic makes it 4 in a row
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Charleston Catholic started the Class AA-A boys soccer state championship game about as well as any team can hope to start a game. The Irish jumped to a 3-0 lead in the first 15 minutes of play and cruised to a 5-0 win against Fairmont Senior.
It was not only the 55th consecutive game the Irish have played without losing, but also the school's fourth consecutive state championship - a feat no other boys soccer team in West Virginia had ever accomplished.
Freshman Joey Trupo set the bar high for future expectations when, playing in his first high school state tournament, he scored Catholic's first four goals.
"I truly didn't, I didn't expect that," Trupo said. "It's one of the greatest feelings I've ever had. It was a great day."
Senior Sam Revercomb found Trupo with a pass in the 7th minute on the Irish's first goal. Fellow freshman Lukas Gocke assisted on Trupo's next two goals - one in the 10th minute and the next in the 15th minute.
Revercomb said the team has had the habit of starting slowly at times this season and it was a point of emphasis for the Irish to come out hitting on all cylinders in Wednesday's championship game.
"It was important because we always struggle early," he said. "After [Trupo's] first goal the game definitely changed. He scored two and three right after that and the game was pretty much over by halftime."
Fairmont Senior coach Jim DeNardi said as well as the Irish played, his team did not help the situation with its slow start against a team the caliber of Charleston Catholic.
"About the worst thing we could have done today was get out to a bad start and that's exactly what happened," he said "They jumped on us early and in the first 10 minutes we're down 3-0 and in that situation it's tough to recover. It takes the kids out of the game. They did what they had to do. We didn't play well the first 10 minutes and they took advantage of it."
Trupo was back at it again early in the second half. Junior Andrew Shaw slid a pass to Trupo that he hammered past Fairmont Senior goalkeeper Matthew Bartrug to give Catholic a 4-0 lead just three minutes into the second half. Charleston Catholic completed the scoring a minute later when Revercomb found the goal with an assist from senior defender Mitchell Stanley.
Irish coach Sam Fox said he had been waiting on a performance like what he saw Wednesday from his talented team.
"I didn't feel as if this team had put together their best effort," Fox said. "We had good games throughout the year but we didn't put together two good halves of soccer until today. At halftime I told them I had nothing to complain about and they played close to perfect in the second half."
During the 55-game unbeaten streak the Irish have posted a record of 51-0-4. Catholic's last loss was at Parkersburg in the final game of the 2010 regular season.
Fox said that even though his team loses nine seniors he's confident the squad is in good hands in the future.
"Going forward we've got some good kids coming back next year," Fox said. "We started three freshmen throughout almost the entire year. It's going to be hard to top this year but for Charleston Catholic soccer, I think we'll be OK next year."
Reach Tom Bragg at email@example.com.