"It was hard fought both ways,'' said 14th-year GW coach Tom Hopper, whose squad lost to Parkersburg 1-0 in last year's state semifinal then beat the Big Reds twice in the regular season this year by 2-1 scores. "Someone was going to get a lucky break. I feel sorry for the other team losing on a PK like that.
"That's part of the game. We'll take it. It had been back and forth and I don't think either team could get into synch. It was a clear call. The kid just about caught [the ball].''
The Big Reds took it to the Patriots for most of the opening half, but GW senior goalie Garrett Phillips was there every time, making four saves.
In addition to going undefeated this season, GW also had an 11-game shutout streak to start the year.
"[Parkersburg was] bringing a lot of pressure, but my defense was playing a great game,'' said GW senior keeper Garrett Phillips, who registered his 19th shutout Saturday, with the last two coming in the state tournament. "[Parkersburg] was putting shots on me that I could handle.''
It was a clean sweep for Hopper this weekend. He also received the National Federation of Coaches Association Active Award before Friday's 1-0 semifinal win over Jefferson.
"I'm fortunate that award was given to me,'' said Hopper, "but it was really given to all of our coaches.''
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.