GW, Morgantown girls play to scoreless draw
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Class AAA No. 2 Morgantown and No. 4 George Washington endured one last test on Saturday as they clashed in both teams' regular-season finale.
After 90 minutes, neither passed and neither failed but both walked away encouraged about their postseason chances.
In a physical match that included 24 fouls and two yellow cards, scoring opportunities were scarce for both teams, and neither could break through in a scoreless tie on a cold and drizzly GW senior day at Trace Fork.
Morgantown registered just one shot on goal and GW had just two as most of the match was contested in the middle of the field.
The result was especially encouraging for the Patriots (16-2-2) and coach Megan Johnson, considering GW had gone nine days since its last match. Johnson said the layoff was a good thing for her team.
"It was a little bit rusty but we've been trying to get them ready during practices, doing a lot of fitness, doing a lot of ball work - working on things we need to work on," Johnson said. "It was actually good to have that time."
There were a couple of sketchy moments for the Patriots.
Morgantown (13-1-4) appeared to have registered a goal around five minutes into the second half when the ball trickled into the GW goal after a mad scramble, but it was negated by an offsides call.
Then, with just 5:08 remaining, Patriots goalie Olivia Miller was hit with a yellow card for a delay, meaning backup keeper Elishia Davis had to come in to face one of the best teams in the state.
But the Mohigans didn't muster much of a threat and the GW defense held its own.
"It was a good game and I told them going into this game that it's a regular-season game but we're going into the playoffs and it's nice to be playing a competitive team," Morgantown coach Ashley Neal said.
With the way both teams have played this season and especially down the stretch, it's certainly not hard to imagine the two seeing each other again in the state tournament.
Morgantown finished its final 10 games going 8-1-1, including a win over No. 1 Winfield, while GW completed its final 10 matches with an 8-0-2 mark.
With the postseason coming up, both coaches are focused on winning their next games and both are confident that their teams will do just that.
"I think playing a competitive schedule like that is great going into the postseason," Neal said. "We're capable of doing whatever we want to do - whatever we want to accomplish. It was great to come out here and play and they've got to get it done. It's the playoffs. It's win or be done, so they've just got to go hard and go at it."
"I think the girls are mentally ready and they're confident," Johnson said. "I said, 'After this it's win or go home,' and none of us want to go home. I think if we play like this, we won't be going home anytime soon.
"I think we've peaked at the right time."
Reach Ryan Pritt at 304-348-7948, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him at twitter.com/RPritt.