CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Winning the Mountain State Athletic Conference soccer championship has usually meant the kiss of death.
No team until Hurricane last year won the conference and the Class AAA state title in the same season. George Washington is looking to ride that new wave of momentum into the approaching postseason.
The Patriots took that first step Saturday afternoon as senior Noah Miller netted two goals, including the winning tally in overtime, to send top-ranked GW past No. 3 Parkersburg 2-1 in the MSAC boys title showdown at Schoenbaum Soccer Stadium in Coonskin Park.
A crowd of about 200 attended the matchup of Class AAA top-five teams. The Patriots beat the host Big Reds 2-1 Oct. 1. Parkersburg edged GW 1-0 in last year's state tournament semifinals.
GW senior co-captain Peter Nelson tracked down a ball in the left corner early in the 10-minute OT period Saturday, then played it out to sophomore Patrick Davis, who then passed the ball back to Nelson.
Nelson then crossed the ball through the penalty-box area where it bounced to Miller, who was waiting at the right post. Miller put it in the back of the net for the victory less than two minutes into the extra period.
"My teammates put passes in the right spots,'' said Miller, who scored his 10th goal of the year. "I've got to give it all to them. It just bounced to me and I was at the right place at the right time. [Nelson] somehow squirted it through the middle and I was there.''
"It's definitely a mental boost for the kids,'' added GW coach Tom Hopper. "We were fortunate. Peter made a great move to center that ball across and Noah made a goal that was kind of surprising. The kids can take a lot of positive out of this.''