POINT PLEASANT, W.Va. - Winfield's Steven Taylor connected on a tie-breaking goal in the final three minutes of each half Tuesday night at Point Pleasant.
The first gave the Generals an early lead, and the second gave them so much more.
Taylor dribbled one past Huntington goalie Chad Dye off an assist from Jesse Richmond with exactly two minutes remaining and the Winfield defense withstood a mad scramble by the Highlanders to give the Generals a 3-2 win in a thrilling Class AAA Region 4 championship game and the school's first berth into the boys state tournament.
It extended a whirlwind, up-and-down season for both Taylor and the Generals.
The junior, who also scored the Generals' other goal Tuesday, broke his collarbone in the team's season opener and has played a limited number of games down the stretch as Winfield has gotten healthy at just the right time.
"That was one of the best games we've ever played, that was just amazing," Taylor said. "This is the greatest feeling ever right now. We've never been to states at triple-A, ever, it's just really great."
Third-year Winfield coach Mike Foster kept the squad together through injuries and a mediocre regular season. The Generals ended the season ranked No. 17 in the final poll and will enter the state tournament with an 11-9-3 record.
"We didn't have a winning regular season," Foster said. "We had a lot of people injured - we're just starting to put it back together."