BECKLEY — When George Washington scored a goal in the first two minutes of its state tournament semifinal game against Jefferson, little did anyone know it would be the only one counted in the Patriots’ 1-0 win over the Cougars.
Just into the game, George Washington’s Drew Davis found the Jefferson net with his direct kick from about 25 yards away.
From that point on, the game’s final 78 minutes turned out to be a tense and physical defensive duel.
After Davis’ early goal, George Washington was able to attempt only one more shot. But that shot was one more than Jefferson could find. The Cougars never solved the Patriot defense well enough to get any shot-attempts.
The importance of the game could be seen in the intense play of both sides. Jefferson was called for seven fouls and the Patriots from Charleston were called for 14 fouls and had three players receive yellow cards.
With time becoming a fading factor, the Cougars began lofting shots toward the George Washington goal, hoping for a Patriot slip or mistake or Jefferson player possibly coming out of a group of players in control and able to get off a viable shot.
George Washington knew the value of its early goal and did what was necessary to avoid a critical mistake free.
In reaching the state tournament finals, George Washington had advanced its overall record to 23-0-1. Jefferson’s prosperous season ended at 16-3-2 overall with one of the state’s four berths in the state tournament.