By Tommy R. Atkinson
It was a banner day this past weekend for the Kanawha Valley at the state soccer tournament.
The Valley took home three state championships Saturday with George Washington (Class AAA boys), Winfield (AAA girls), which repeated, and Sissonville (AA-A girls) lifting hardware.
And it's never too early to look ahead to next year for those squads.
GW will take the biggest hit, losing 10 of its 11 starters to graduation. The Patriots, though, had more than 40 come out for the team this year so there will be plenty of competition for starting spots.
The Patriots will lose two of their starring players in Saturday's 1-0 state title victory over Parkersburg in keeper Garrett Phillips, who turned in 19 shutouts this year, and Peter Nelson, who converted a penalty kick with seven minutes left against the Big Reds.
In addition, GW will be losing leading scorer Drew Davis, who tallied 21 goals, second-leading goal producer Daniel Glines, who chipped in 13 with a hat trick in the regional final, and third-leading scorer Noah Miller, who pitched in 12 goals.
Winfield will be well stocked for a run at its third straight AAA girls state title, which the Generals first accomplished when they won the first three championships from 1995-97.
Junior Jayne Lawman, who has verbally committed to Marshall and tallied a team-high 23 goals, freshman Mary Lawman, Jayne's younger sister who had the second-most goals with 22 and tallied a pair of scores in the state semifinals, sophomore Jordan Pauley, who was third in goals with 14 and added one in the 2-0 state title clincher over Washington, and sophomore Mackenzie Pritt, who netted 10 goals, all return for the Generals.
Sissonville is even in better shape for back-to-back AA-A girls titles, bringing back 10 of its 11 starters. The Indians captured their second championship with a 1-0 victory over defending state titlist Bridgeport. Sissonville had lost the past four out of five seasons in regional play and also fell in the 2011 state championship.
The Indians duo of Madison Jones and Karli Pinkerton led the scoring punch with 40 and 38 goals, respectively. Jones, which had the second-most goals in the Valley, netted two at states - both on penalty kicks, including the winning tally in the title tilt.
"There are no words to describe what these two girls mean to us this year,'' said Sissonville coach Ali Sadeghian of Jones and Pinkerton. "Looking forward to repeat this again for the next two years.''
Sissonville sophomore keeper Brooke Reed posted two shutouts at states, including several spectacular stops. Junior Taylor Rhodes finished with 12 goals for the Indians.
Winfield advanced to the AAA boys final four for the first time in school history and acquitted themselves nicely despite losing 2-1 to Parkersburg in the semis.
The Generals battled injuries all season and only used their projected starting lineup four times. Winfield loses six starters to graduation, including keeper Bryce Boggs, but a lot of youngsters gained valuable experience this year.
Junior top scorer Steven Taylor, who was limited to 10 games, produced 15 goals, juniors Jesse Richmond, who picked up the scoring when Taylor was out with 11 goals, Nathan Keefe, Noah Laliberty and Austin Miller return to starting positions.
Four-time defending champion Charleston Catholic was certainly left with a bad taste after getting upset by East Fairmont 1-0 in double overtime in the AA-A boys semis.
The Fighting Irish, though, return a lot of firepower, losing only two seniors.
Top scorer Joey Trupo was only a sophomore and turned in a Kanawha Valley-high tying 33 goals while junior Roger Burdette added 14 and sophomore Anthony Cipollone 11. Junior goalie Patrick Kline also returns after getting a year of starting experience under his belt.
GW endured another heartbreak in the AAA girls semis, falling to Washington, which was making its state tournament debut, 1-0. GW, which has never won a state title and has finished runner-up three times, lost in last year's title matchup to Winfield in overtime.
GW should also be in good shape with junior keeper Olivia Miller, one of the best in the state, junior Sarah Bodnar, the leading scorer with 18 goals, junior Kasey Rhodes, who had a team second-best 17 goals, freshman Kate Eddy, who contributed 11 goals, and sophomore Hannah Ellis, who pitched in nine scores. GW sophomore Elishia Davis (10 goals), freshman Hattie Davis (six) and sophomore Kayse Ellis gained valuable experience on the pitch.
Parkersburg finished as state runner-up in AAA boys for the second consecutive year and loses seven seniors, including several all-state candidates in defenders Tyler Bro and Brandon DeCicco, forward Evan Rhodes and keeper Reid Strobl.
Washington made a name for itself in AAA girls, taking the runner-up trophy in their first appearance since the Charles Town school opened in 2008. Washington says goodbye to eight seniors, but the future looks bright.
PikeView finally broke through for its first title in its first championship match in AA-A boys with a 1-0 victory over East Fairmont.
East Fairmont made quite a statement in AA-A boys, knocking off four-time champ Catholic in double OT in the semis then just coming up short in the championship.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at tatkin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.
Final Kanawha Valley soccer standings, statistics
1. George Washington 23-0-2
2. Charleston Catholic 15-4-3
3. Sissonville 13-5-2
4. Hurricane 12-7-3
5. South Charleston 10-6-4
6. Winfield 11-10-3
7. St. Albans 10-10-2
8. Capital 8-11-1
9. Riverside 4-13-1
10. Nitro 4-14-2
11. Herbert Hoover 2-15-1
Player, School Goals
Joey Trupo, CC 33
Jack Wiles, SA 33
Guillermo Ugarte, Hurr. 31
Loran Meadows, Hurr. 26
Cameron Norris, River. 23
Drew Davis, GW 21
Josh Rawson, Siss. 20
Doug Harding, Siss. 15
Steven Taylor, Win. 15
Roger Burdette, CC 14
Daniel Glines, GW 13