BECKLEY, W.Va. — Sophomore forward Bubby Towns scored 7 minutes into overtime to send Fairmont Senior to a 2-1 victory over Robert C. Byrd in Saturday’s Class AA-A boys soccer title game at Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex.
Towns, who assisted the Polar Bears’ first goal of the match, used a great individual effort and well-placed shot to give Fairmont Senior (18-3-5) its second boys soccer championship since 2015.
“I saw an opening and hit it as hard as I could,” Towns said. “I went in the bottom of the net and it’s the best feeling you could ever ask for.”
Robert C. Byrd (18-3-1) finished runner-up for the third time in four years. The Eagles trailed late in regulation, but got an equalizer from speedster Khori Miles with 9:04 remaining.
FSHS went ahead in the 15th minute when Towns set up Nick Keefover with a through ball and Keefover finished for a 1-0 Polar Bears’ advantage.
“We came here to finish business and finished the mission,” Towns said.
Class AAA Boys
GEORGE WASHINGTON 2, Cabell Midland 0: Zak Abdul-Jalil scored a goal in each half, and the Patriots (23-2) put together a strong defensive effort to repeat as Class AAA state champions.
“We made some changes about five games ago to make our AAA state defender of the year from last year a striker,” GW head coach Erik Engle said of Abdul-Jalil. “He has two goals. Maybe it was a good idea.”
With the win, GW captured its sixth boys soccer title since 2007 and third since 2016.
Abdul-Jalil opened the scoring in the first 2 minutes of the match and scored again after getting free for a breakaway with just outside of 20 minutes to play.
“He is an unbelievable soccer play and an unbelievable athlete,” Engle said. “When we moved him to the front, the entire dynamic of the team changed. People would make runs that they wouldn’t make earlier because they knew he was there and would get them the ball if they made them. His energy just changes the whole flow of our game.”
The Knights (14-5-3) had trouble generating scoring chances throughout and were held scoreless for just the second time all season, with the first coming in a 1-0 loss to GW back on Oct. 10.
The Patriots also beat Cabell Midland, 3-2, on Sept. 5.
Class AA-A Girls
CHARLESTON CATHOLIOC 5, Oak Glen 1: After claiming state championships in 2014 and 2015, the Irish had finished runner-up each of the last three years. Thanks to five unanswered goals, including four in the second half, Charleston Catholic is back on top after defeating the Golden Bears in the first match Saturday at Paul Cline Memorial Sports Complex.
Madison McKay deflected home a free kick in the 13th minute to give Oak Glen (18-3-2) the early advantage.
The Golden Bears stayed in front for more than 25 minutes despite the Irish generating pressure. Late in the first half, Catholic (21-1) broke through when Bella Cinco fired a shot that hit off goalkeeper Alexa Andrews, the post and back off Andrews before rattling home 34 seconds before the intermission.
“Thank goodness Bella Cinco scored that goal in the last 30 seconds, because it kind of put us right where we needed to be,” Irish head coach Amy Mullen said. “It made us calm down and play the game.”
An own goal 14:06 into the second half put the Irish on top for good.
Just fifty-five seconds after taking the lead, Catholic added to it when Claire Mullen found Lindsay Carr, who beat Andrews to make it 3-1.
Annie Cimino scored to up the lead to 4-1 and Ashley Green added a late goal to cap the scoring.
“This was the year to win. This was the year that I wanted to take it,” Mullen said. “They change the alignment every four years and so many people said we’d never win it again because of all the schools that came into our section. It feels good to pull this out.”
Class AAA Girls
MORGANTOWN 3, Hedgesville 2: The Mohigans overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to win their first championship since 2011.
Morgantown (19-2-1) got even on a goal by Anna Rose Iquinto, who used her speed to race by a pair of Eagles and scored to knot the match at 1.
“They got their opportunity and took it, but I just told them we had to keep playing our game,” Morgantown head coach Stirlin Rivers said. “We could not just start kicking the ball long. Stick to what got us here in the first place and the girls did that.”
Michaela August gave MHS the lead for good by scoring on a free kick with 26:51 left.
Samantha Brown scored the Mohigans’ third and final goal on a penalty kick at the 9:36 mark, and it proved to be the game-winner after the Eagles’ got a goal from Hunter Taylor off a corner kick to cut their deficit half with 4:36 to play.
“This Hedgesville team is so good, we couldn’t just stay on 2-1,” Rivers said. “That’s the most dangerous lead to stay on. I told them we had to try to get a third.”
Hedgesville (17-2) had taken a 1-0 lead on Hannah Horn’s goal 22:58 to play in the first half.
The Eagles allowed more than one goal for the first time all season.