CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The (24-0-1) Class AAA state champion George Washington boys soccer team will be nationally honored by Army National Guard and MaxPreps this weekend during halftime at GW’s basketball game scheduled for Friday night against Pt. Pleasant.
The presentation will give recognition to the accomplishments the Patriots had in the fall by appointing them to the 3rd Annual MaxPreps Soccer Tour of Champions. In order to be to be eligible, the team not only had to be nationally ranked, but also had to win a state championship. The selection of this unique honor includes 20 of the best teams in the entire nation.
“We just happened to follow under their radar and as the season progressed our ranking moved up because of our success,” GW head coach Tom Hopper said on MetroNews High School Sportsline. “Lo and behold, they’re going to honor us.”
The Patriots, who also won boys titles in 2007 and 2011, beat Parkersburg in this past year’s championship game, 1-0. It was their third win over the Big Reds on the year, all of those games were decided by one goal apiece.
“We’ll never have a season like this again,” he said. “A lot of senior players were dedicated to the goal that we had in mind and we were very fortunate we come out the way we did. It’s quite an accomplishment if you’re able to beat (Parkersburg) once or twice, but a third time was very special.
“When we went into (championship) game, we knew it was going to be really tight. The grass field was getting a little sloppy and we knew someone was going to make a mistake,” he said. “It came down in the second half where they got called on an infraction in the penalty box and we were able to convert on the penalty kick.”
As for the returning players for Coach Hopper and GW next season?
“We quite a few players that have a lot of experience, but not many that have varsity experience so I think we’ll be okay,” he said. “But most of these kids have played travel (leagues) for years so they’ll be well conditioned to the expectations that we have set.”