BECKLEY - Charleston Catholic coach Sam Fox feels his boys' soccer team is the best in West Virginia, regardless of class.
After Saturday's 6-0 thumping of Weir in the Class AA/A championship game at Carter Field, Fox certainly has a case.
The Irish dismantled the Red Riders in every way to win their third straight championship and stake the claim as the only undefeated team in the state.
"The main goal was to always win a state championship, but in reflecting and seeing what has happened to all the other good teams in the state of West Virginia, coaches and fans told us we were the best team and (Saturday) I believe that," Fox said. "We played a very strong AAA schedule. We didn't back down from anybody and we beat all the AAA teams with the exception of two ties. It says something about these boys for not just this year, but having the best record in the history of Charleston Catholic and that is saying something because this school has a lot of tradition."
They certainly made a believer out of Weir. The Red Riders managed just one Connor Addison shot in the second half and spent most of the 80 minutes playing on their side of the field.
"They possessed the ball 99 percent of the game," Weir goalie Josh Barney said. "You can't score when you don't have the ball."
When asked what the Irish was doing on the defensive side, Weir senior Lucas Dankovchik replied, ''I couldn't tell you. We weren't down there that much. Any time they even touched the ball, they got it back up the field quickly."
It was that kind of game.
Weir stood its ground for most of the first half even though Barney had to make seven saves in the first 40 minutes. It was the eighth shot that got things rolling for Charleston Catholic.
Will Farkas-Worthy send a perfect cross that Irish standout Tommy Trupo headed past Barney for a 1-0 lead with 32 seconds remaining before halftime.
It was Trupo's 100th career goal, a school and Kanawha County record, but he was far from done. The senior added two more before the final whistle blew.
The second half started much the same and Charleston Catholic struck quickly with a goal in the 45th minute, taking advantage of a Weir mistake.
Being pressured, Dankovchik sent a pass back to Barney that wasn't struck well, allowing Sam Revercomb a 1-on-1 opportunity that the junior finished and put the Irish up 2-0.
Things got worse when Addison, who had two goals in the semifinal victory against Berkeley Springs, was ejected with a red card. Not only did it take away one of Weir's top offensive weapons, but it put the Red Riders down a man for the remaining 22 minutes.
Charleston Catholic didn't wait long to take advantage, scoring less than a minute later as Trupo fired a shot that hit the crossbar and deflected behind Barney.
Worthy (75th), Trupo (88th), and Anthony Ciconni (90th) finished the scoring.
"When they scored the fourth goal, we put our young guys in to get some experience, and apparently they needed those extra two goals to make the books look good," Weir coach Joe Pepe said. "Take nothing away from Charleston Catholic, they are good team. This Weir High team is an excellent team. We went through some tough things before, we'll go through some tough things again.
"I'm very proud of these kids for making it down here four years in a row. Any time you lose a state championship game, though, it's tough. We have a lot of underclassmen that got their feet wet. Weir soccer will be back."