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Riders lose in OVAC

September 25, 2012
By FRED YOUNCE - Sports writer ( , The Herald-Star

WELLSBURG - The Weir Red Riders dropped a 4-3 decision to the Morgantown Mohigans Monday at Brooke Memorial Stadium in the quarterfinals of the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Cup Tournament.

They did not do so without a fight.

"We tried," said Weir head coach Joe Pepe. "We didn't give up. They (Morgantown) played extremely well, but we had three or four mistakes and that's how they scored their goal.

Article Photos

MAKING A RUN — Weir’s Shane Davis races to the ball with Morgantown’s Keegan Hazen during the Mohigans 4-3 win over the Red Riders Monday in the OVAC Cup quarterfinals at Brooke Memorial Stadium.
-- Fred Younce

"We had couple of mental breakdowns, but it's nothing we can't fix. We're still a good ball club on its way to becoming a great one.

"We did play very well against one of the top West Virginia AAA teams out there.

"We played extremely well and didn't quit."

With 2:18 second left in the game, Morgantown's Chris Atallah sent a crossing pass that found its way through to Akshay Chandra who put the ball into the left side of the net for the 4-3 Mohigans' lead.

The Red Riders refused to quit, going on the attack in an attempt to do what they had done after each of Morgantown's previous goal - beat Mohigans' goaltender Daniel Berrebi for a game-tying score.

With under a minute they had a chance to do just that as Ryan Kirk got off a great shot, but Berrebi forced it off the post to maintain the lead.

Kirk almost had another shot in the waning seconds of the game, but a Morgantown slide tackle kept him from getting off the shot. The play set up what was to be a corner kick for Weir, but the final five seconds ticked off before they could set up.

"I thought we had it tied up, but that's the way it goes," said Pepe. "That's the way the game goes. There's no sour grapes. My kids didn't quit and I'll always be proud of these kids."

Morgantown started the scoring at the sixth minute when Atallah put the ball in off an Amine Feliachi assist.

Weir answered back on a Ryan Duke goal on an assist from Kenny Muhart, tying the game at 1-1.

The Mohigans' Zach Kilwein found the net off a pass from Moses Lawer-Yolas to put the Mohigans up again at the 24th minute.

The Red Riders once again tied the game up when Chad Hensley sent a corner kick that cleared to the opposite side of the field where Duke put in his second goal of the game.

The team from Morgantown once again took the lead with 10:55 left in the game at 3-2, but Weir once again answered to tie the match.

Kirk put a pass through to Shane Davis, who beat the Berrebi to lock the score at 3-all with just over three minutes of action remaining.

A minute later, Chandra gave the Mohigans the lead, they survived Weir's last-ditch efforts to force overtime and Morgantown celebrated the victory.

"It felt great," Morgantown head coach Joe Melia said of the win. "Of course we were the underdogs in this game so it feels real good. We didn't have that good of a game. It was kind of ugly there for a while.

"It was very frustrating at times because I felt like we could have scored a lot more goals than we did, and on defense we made some horrible mistakes that allowed them to score some, but I'm happy that we won."

Berrebi had 12 saves for the Mohigans with Matt Tenaglio turning away 13 shots in the loss.

Morgantown plays Steubenville Catholic Central, 2-1 winners over Steubenville Big Red, in the OVAC Cup semifinals at 1 p.m. Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium.

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