WHEELING -With the OVAC Cup Soccer Tournament two weeks away, Morgantown and Linsly's girls' teams put on a defensive show Saturday afternoon that definitely had the fans at the contest wanting more.
While it is too early to figure out if the Mohigans and Cadets will meet on the Wheeling Island turf during the final OVAC Cup event, one thing is for sure, if they do the match could go well beyond the normal 80-minute time limit.
Defense was at a premium Saturday, and while Morgantown (5-0-3) controlled the tempo in the second half, neither team was able to find the back of the other's net as the teams battled to a scoreless deadlock in a well-played contest at Holloway Field.
"Honestly, we knew this was going to be a great game coming in," Cadets coach Erica Hall said. "With our leading scoring out with an injury, we had to make some adjustments. But the girls figured things out and I am very proud of the composure they kept and how well they supported each other on the field."
There was actually only one shot on goal in the first half, a long ball that was corralled by Linsly keeper Vivian Allison. Not only were there no goals during the initial 40 minutes of play, but no corner kicks as well as each team had trouble advancing deep into the other's end.
Morgantown had a pair of opportunities late, with a kick just outside the box with four minutes to play that sailed over the net on a header and a corner kick at the three-minute mark that did not connect. Linsly also had a late chance with a corner kick in the final minute that didn't go.
For Mohigans coach Ashley Neal, a Linsly graduate and former Cadets soccer player, it was a game she wanted to win badly on her old field, and one she wouldn't mind playing again.
"I am always up for a challenge and it might be great to see them again on the island," Neal said. "This was a very good game, I expect an awful lot out of our defense and got it (Saturday). I think you really have to give both teams a lot of credit, Linsly (8-2-1) came out hard and challenged us as well.
"It wasn't what we were hoping for, but ties are both the gift and curse of soccer. Sometimes they just happen."
While Allison was charted with five saves on the afternoon, Morgantown's Katey Sharpe turned away the only attempt she needed to in the double shutout.
"Morgantown is a great team and I honestly have to say that just was just a fun game to both coach and watch," Hall saidd. "The OVAC Cup is still in the distance and we have other games to concentrate on first, but I looked forward to playing in it as a player and still look forward to it as a coach.
"I am sad that this will be the final year for the Cup, but I really believe that is we are able to get there, and play Morgantown again, this game will be a big time motivator for both sides. We still have work to do, starting with Brooke this week, but thinking about the Cup is always exciting for us."