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Boys' Soccer: Weir Wins on Second Chance

November 5, 2011
By JOSH STROPE ( , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

BECKLEY - Berkeley Springs' Jared Levi scored past Weir goalie Josh Barney in sudden-death overtime, sending the Indians into excitement and the Red Riders with their heads in their hands.

Instead, an offsides call nullified the goal and gave Weir one last chance. It made it count.

Weir went to the shootout and scored on its first three attempts before Barney stoned freshman Brandon McCumbee to put the Red Riders into the West Virginia Class AA/A championship game with a 3-2 victory against the Indians on Carter Field.

The Red Riders and veteran coach Joe Pepe seek their first state championship today against defending champion Charleston Catholic, which beat Pikeview, 6-0.

"Whew," Pepe said. "After the Wheeling Central game, we didn't think we wanted to go through another marathon. The kids played extremely well, they stepped up and we had plenty of opportunities to put it away.

"That's twice they went the distance. We work on penalty kicks and when the time came, they did an excellent job."

Added Barney: "I think I'm going to come in and make every save. Both shots they made I feel I should have had. The one I did save, I waited longer to see where it went and got my hand on it. I really don't want to have to do this again."

The Indians put themselves in a hole right from the beginning of the shootout as Derrick Cowles shot his high off the crossbar.

Weir's next three shooters - Ryan Duke, Austin Hoover, and Shane Davis - all made their attempts.

After another Berkeley Springs miss, Conner Addison, who scored both goals in regulation for the Red Riders, had a chance to end it but his shot went wide.

Instead, Barney made a diving save on McCumbee to put Weir in its second state title game. The Red Riders lost to Charleston Catholic in 2009.

While Weir lucked out with the nullified goal, the Red Riders had the best opportunities all game but couldn't put Berkeley Springs away.

Weir kicked two balls over the crossbar when staring at a wide-open net and Chad Hensley, ironically enough, was stopped by Berkeley Springs goalie Caleb Murray on a penalty kick in the 61st minute.

"We knew we had to adjust to it," Addison said.

"We've had that happen all year where someone would score three goals one game and missed 10 wide-open shots the next time. Someone else just steps up and it happened to be me (Friday)."

Addison put Weir on top 1-0 with a direct kick from 20 yards out in the 19th minute.

Cowles scored for the Indians in the 28th minute and the teams went into the locker room tied.

Berkeley Springs briefly took the lead on a goal from 40-goal scorer Zach Wise in the 46th minute, but Addison tied the match 68 seconds later on a header from a perfect cross by Hoover.

"It's easy to come here and beat people 4-0, 5-0, but when you work for it, it's more enjoyable," Pepe said.

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