MORGANTOWN — A cross-town soccer matchup was played Tuesday night at Pony Lewis Field as the Morgantown High School boys soccer team welcomed the Trinity Christian Warriors from Sabraton.
The Mohigans entered the game unbeaten on the year at 7-0-1, with a draw coming to Linsly last weekend, and the Warriors with an impressive record themselves of 5-2-1, their latest win coming over Tyler 7-0.
MHS took a 1-0 lead into halftime and added two more goals late in the game to reach the final score of 3-0 over TCS. Despite the scoreline, the game was competitive and the Warriors had multiple chances to score.
“When you give them space to counter, they’re going to take it,” MHS head coach Sam Snyder said. “They know how to draw you into dangerous passes and then get on the gas and go but our guys focused and did well in transition defense. They definitely make it hard to score.”
The opening ten minutes saw the Mohigans with the majority of the possession on offense, with the Warriors playing some solid defense to deny any quality chances. TCS senior keeper and captain Ben Lohmann made a pair of good saves early on to deny MHS an early opening goal.
MHS junior Aiden Stire entered the game after ten minutes passed and made his presence felt less than two minutes later. He found himself in some space on the left wing and cut inside, opening space for himself to make a play. He played a pass to the feet of junior striker Riley Brabson, who took one touch to his left and buried a shot into the far right corner of Lohmann’s goal.
Brabson’s ninth goal of the season gave the Mohigans a 1-0 lead with 28 minutes still to play before the break, but a good response by the Warriors and continued defense held the MHS lead at just one goal after the opening half.
“They are a highly skilled team and are extremely strong on the ball,” Trinity head coach Dan Lohmann said. “You have to have your head on a swivel and playing a competitive game against a team of that quality does nothing but make us better and that’s what we wanted this game to do.”
The second half saw much of the same as the first half, with the Mohigans seeing the majority of the ball on offense and the Warriors trying to break the lines of the defense after winning possession back.
TCS nearly found the equalizer with just over 13 minutes to play as striker Charles Steptoe wrapped his left foot around the ball, aiming for the top left corner of the goal. The shot curled through the air and seemed destined to nestle into the back of the net, but MHS keeper Tyler Crites was equal to the task and made an incredible diving save to deny the Warriors.
Six minutes later with just under seven minutes left to play, Brabson scored his second of the night, and tenth of the season, doubling the lead for his team and giving the hosts a cushion for the final five minutes.
Stire added the third for MHS on a free kick one minute later that caught the TCS defense off guard and found the goal.
Tuesday’s match included halftime recognition of long-time soccer coach and supporter in the area, Ray Petrisin, who has coached in Monongalia County for 40 years, and previously coached at Morgantown, University and now assists TCS head coach Dan Lohmann with his Warriors. He coached in eight state championships, winning five of them.
“Well it looks a lot different around here than when we started the program in 1987,” Petrisin said. “I returned from Australia in 1977 or 1978 when we got the rec program started then we started the committee to try and get soccer in the schools and since it’s been growing tremendously.”
“Ray is an absolute legend in West Virginia soccer and I have counted on him for so many things,” Lohmann said of Petrisin. “Not just soccer, but life lessons also. He’s been doing this for over 40 years and nothing would be possible without his help.”
The Mohigans earned a nice momentum win going into Thursday’s Mohawk Bowl matchup against rival University. TCS will travel on Thursday for a match against Williamstown.