Indians win sectional soccer title
Zach Wise scored a goal in the sixth minute of the opening half, on a perfect pass from Zane Mokhiber, to give Berkeley Springs an early lead in the sectional championship game against Frankfort on Thursday, October 20, at Morgan Field.
Following the quick goal from Wise, it looked like Berkeley Springs might have an easy time, but that was the furthest thing from the truth.
After the Indians took the early 1-0 lead, Frankfort kept the pressure on Berkeley Springs for the remainder of the half. The Falcons played well enough in the opening 40 minutes to have had the lead if not for the stellar play of goalkeeper Caleb Murray. Murray was up to the challenge and stopped all of the Falcon shots, including two point blank attempts with 25:03 and 10:38 remaining in the half, respectively.
Wise scored his second goal of the game, the 109th of his career (one short of the state record), with 26:40 remaining in the second half off an excellent throw in by Derrick Cowles and then Cowles put the final nail in the coffin with a goal of his own off a corner kick from Jared Levi in the 62nd minute to give Berkeley a 3-0 lead. The defense did the rest and the Indians moved on to the Class A-AA Region II title game.
"The last time we played Frankfort we were a bit unorganized at times, but today our defense was solid," said Berkeley Springs coach Jamie Chenoweth.
The adjustments Berkeley Springs made at half paid dividends, as the Indians flipped the field after the intermission playing the majority of the second half on Frankfort's end of the field, instead of the other way around.
"Frankfort always brings a physical game and a rowdy following," said Chenoweth. “As the game went on we quieted their fans, but the fouling increased. I think we've been through the fire some this year and it seems that lately we're playing our best, so I have a lot of confidence in our future."
Murray secured the shutout with six saves.
Berkeley Springs earned the right to play Frankfort in the title game with an easy 7-1 win over visiting Pendleton County on Tuesday, October 18, in Berkeley Springs.
Wise had a huge game scoring five goals, as the Indians scored three times in the opening 10 minutes of play and coasted to the lopsided win.
Mokhiber opened the scoring with a header off a corner kick from Cowles in the fourth minute of play. Wise made it 2-0 five minutes later and then scored again a minute later to give the Indians the quick 3-0 lead.
Substituting liberally, Berkeley Spring built the halftime lead to 4-0, the fourth goal coming when Wise snuck a header past the goalkeeper on a nice corner kick from Jared Levi.
The Indians out scored their southern neighbor 3-1 in the final 40 minutes for the 7-1 win, as Wise added two more goals and Dylan Trip one.
Jared Levi ended with three assists, Cowles two and Brandon McCumbee one.
Murray stopped two shots on goal.
"We got a lead and kept the pressure on them, even after the starters came off," Chenoweth said.
Berkeley Springs, 14-4-1, heads to Keyser for the regional title on October 27. They will face Liberty Harrison (12-6-1) in the Region II Championship game at 7 p.m. The winner will advance to next week’s state tournament.