PARKERSBURG - Against nationally ranked Morgantown, Wheeling Park has nothing to hang its head about following a 1-0 overtime loss in the West Virginia Class AAA Region One Final on Thursday at Stadium Field.
But when the Patriots look back on this game, they will likely wonder how they were inches away from ending this one - twice.
Morgantown controlled the second half, but the best chance of the final 40 minutes belonged to the Patriots as time was winding down.
Wheeling Park’s Alyssa Sonnefeld and Morgantown’s Rose McGonigle (15) vie for possession Thursday.
Carly Collins passed the ball into the middle of the box where Meghan Horan's one-timer beat a diving Morgantown goalkeeper Erika Yohn, but went just wide, nicking the goalpost as it crossed out of bounds.
At the start of the first overtime period, Collins again sent a perfect pass across the middle of the box, this time finding Alyssa Sonnefeld.
The senior forward was all alone with Yohn, but the Mohigans netminder was able to get just enough of the shot to deny Wheeling Park a lead.
''We were hoping and that was all we needed was that one goal to put them under some pressure,'' Wheeling Park coach Aubrey Taylor said. ''We couldn't score but we created the chances, just unfortunately couldn't put it in the net.''
While the two best chances belonged to the Patriots (11-6-2), the one that counted went the way of the No. 22-ranked Mohigans (22-0-1), also the two-time OVAC champion and defending Class AAA state champion.
In the second overtime period, Morgantown finally dented the scoreboard 33 seconds in.
Makayla Schmidt found standout Sydney Lavengood down the sideline and the senior rifled a shot over the head of Wheeling Park goalie Devyn Nickerson and into the side of the net.
''When Sydney got that ball, I knew she was going to score,'' Morgantown coach Ashley Neal said. ''I challenged her to do this for us (Thursday). Once I saw them spread out and the pass was open, I said 'it's on.'
''After that, I wasn't too nervous. Our girls know how to play with a lead.''
Morgantown didn't allow a Wheeling Park shot on goal for the remainder of the period, clinching a trip back to Beckley for next week's West Virginia State High School Soccer Tournament.
''It's awesome to get an overtime win against a great team. I know everything about Park, I grew up in Wheeling,'' said Neal, a former Linsly standout. ''I know way too much about Park and I knew they were going to come to play. They have great coaches and great players.
''A game like this is great going into the state tournament. As long as we come out with the 'W,' I love it. This group is going to give it their all (next week). That is all I can ask of them. The four top teams in the state will be playing, and we are ready. These girls have accepted every challenge they've faced.''
Yohn made five saves in the shutout. Nickerson stopped 11 shots for the Patriots.
''This was very tough because we had a great opportunity to win this game,'' Taylor said. ''The girls played very well and stayed in the game. It was a great performance from our girls.
''Their goal, it was a great pass, a great move. (Lavengood) beat our player to the outside and we couldn't catch up with her. It was a great shot.
''We were up and down a little at the end (of the season), but I can't say enough about the level of play these girls were at. It was great for soccer in Wheeling. They put in a great effort to win this game, especially against a top team like Morgantown that is ranked nationally and been undefeated for more than a year.''