Weir rallies for OT win over Wheeling Central

TAKING OVER — Weir High’s Julia Gianni plays against Wheeling Central in a Class AA/A Region 1 Section 1 semifinal on Wednesday. (Photo by Cody Tomer)

WHEELING — It’s not over until it’s over. That is what the Weir girls soccer team kept reminding itself during Wednesday’s Class AA/A Region 1 Section 1 match at Wheeling Jesuit.

Wheeling Central ran out to a quick lead and held on to it for the majority of the match. After a long battle, Weir finally knotted the match with just 3:53 remaining and completed the comeback as Julia Gianni netted the game-winner in overtime, sending the Red Riders into the sectional final with a 2-1 victory.

“We have a little bit of fight,” Weir coach Jeremy Angelo said. “There is no doubt about it. The girls just kept pushing, and there was nothing negative and it worked out for us.”

As the clock was winding down in regulation and Weir behind on the scoreboard, Bella Aperfine supplied a perfect pass to teammate Rebeka Rowland, who whistled a shot past Central keeper Maria Murphy for the game-tying goal.

The Riders took that momentum into the overtime session as Gianni found the back of the net at the 5:06 mark for a thrilling victory and a crushing defeat for the Knights.

“The girls played their hearts out,” Central coach Julie Barack said. “We can’t control the score; we can only control our effort. They gave all they had on that field, and it is disappointing.

“Weir is a great team, and their goalkeeper made some key saves. It was a tight match, and we will take this as a learning experience and grow from it. Unfortunately for our seniors, it is their last go, but they have taught us a lot and led this team very well. They left us in a good position for next year.”

Wheeling Central jumped on the board in the second minute of action as Maria Dzmura delivered a pass to Kenadee Wayt, who knocked in the contest’s first goal.

Murphy and Weir goalkeeper Alexis Adams each gathered seven saves each.

Weir will face No. 1 Oak Glen in the sectional final at 11 a.m. in New Manchester. Oak Glen defeated Madonna x-x on Wednesday.