Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP SOCCER - STATE TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS ; Catholic Boys Charge Back into Title Game

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

PREP SOCCER - STATE TOURNAMENT SEMIFINALS ; Catholic Boys Charge Back into Title Game

Article excerpt


CharlestonCatholic 2 Grafton 0

Fairmont Senior 4 Bluefield 0

BECKLEY - Charleston Catholic's seniors have played in six state tournament games during their four years of high school. Today, they'll play their seventh with a chance at a third state championship in four seasons. The Irish got two first-half goals from senior Anthony Cipollone and held on in a physical second half to beat Grafton 2-0 in the Class AA-A boys soccer state semifinals on Friday at the YMCA Youth Sports Complex in Beckley.

Cipollone put Catholic in front early with a goal in the fourth minute to set the tone for the half. He added to his tally in the 39th minute when a bad clearance on a corner kick bounced right to him near the top of the penalty area, where he buried a shot past Grafton goalkeeper Trace Schooley.

"I've got to give that credit to my teammates, Cipollone said. "Everyone played well. It wasn't just me. I just got fortunate to get two goals.

Catholic (19-0-1) controlled the flow of the game throughout the half, allowing few opportunities for the Bearcats (20-2-1). The second half, however, was a different story entirely.

The game slowed down and got physical, with a combined 26 penalties between the two teams.

"Both teams wanted to win really bad and it showed, Catholic senior Joey Trupo said. "At the same time, everyone showed their poise and it never went over the top with someone getting two yellow cards or anything like that. I think it was just both teams showing how much they wanted to win. "

The Irish still controlled the bulk of the possession in the second half, but the opportunities for Grafton began to come more frequently.

"It was pretty much exactly what I expected, Grafton coach Brant McCarthy said. "I expected that they were probably going to control the ball a little more than we did.

"I was kind of OK with that. We have a chance anytime we have [junior Caleb Wagner] up top. That's usually how we scored a lot this year. We would gain some possession and counterpunch. Second half we were able to do that, first half, I don't know. They really took it to us in the first half.

Wagner, who had scored in all 22 of the Bearcats' games this season and 27 consecutive games dating back to last season entering the state tournament, was frustrated by the Irish defense. …

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