Riders lose in OVACs

WELLSBURG – Morgantown took the first step en route to defending its tournament title.

The Morgantown boys’ soccer team recorded a 7-1 victory over Weir in an OVAC Cup Tournament Quarterfinal Wednesday evening at Brooke.

Weir’s lone goal of the game came from Alex Hannah on a penalty kick in the second half.

“We played a pretty good team,” Weir (6-6-1) head coach Joe Pepe said. “They are a solid team. Take nothing away from them.”

The No. 2 seeded Mohigans scored four goals in the first half and three more in the second half.

“We played well,” Morgantown (9-1-1) head coach Joe Melia said. “We were able to get a lot of kids into the game. That was good. A lot of players got quality minutes.”

Morgantown will now play a semifinal contest against Wheeling Park at 3 p.m. Saturday at Wheeling Island Stadium. The Patriots defeated St. Clairsville, 3-0, in Wednesday’s second quarterfinal match at Brooke.

The Patriots defeated the Mohigans, 2-1, on Sept. 7 at Wheeling Island Stadium.

Linsly will play Catholic Central in the other tournament semifinal at 1 p.m.

Addison Luck and Kilian Stapen each netted two goals for Morgantown, while Qussay Sagr, Andres Saenz and Akshay Chandran all tallied one goal.

Sami Kanj, Nathan Bolles, Bayan Razzaq and Zack Whisler all recorded an assist.

Goalie Daniel Berrebi made 10 saves.

“In practice, we know what we need to work on,” Melia said. “We just want to clean up our game. If we do that, we can compete with anybody.”

Matt Tenagilo started the game in the net for the Red Riders. The senior co-captain made three saves before leaving the game with an injury in the first half. He did not return.

Michael Ceraolo replaced Tenagilo in goal. Ceraolo made 12 saves.

“I knew they were big. I knew they were quick,” Pepe said.

“We are in a rebuilding year. It’s OK. We are doing the best we can. The kids have nothing to be ashamed about.”

Melia did not know much about the Red Riders heading into their game.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I just knew their record from the OVAC standings.”

The Mohigans outshot the Red Riders, 28-13. Morgantown took 25 shots on goal, while Weir ripped 11.

Weir was forced to take 13 goal kicks, while Morgantown only had to take four. The Mohigans took 11 corner kicks, while the Red Riders took only one.

“When you have a young team and you play a veteran team it can be tough,” Pepe said. “It can be intimidating. Things happen.

“We only have three seniors. Two of them are starters. They are both captains. We lost one (Tenagilo) with an injury.

“We have nothing to be ashamed of. We are going to get it done. Our time is coming.”

Last year, the Mohigans won the tournament title as the No. 8 seed.

Morgantown opened the tournament by defeating top-seeded Weir, 4-3, in the quarterfinals at Brooke. Then in the semifinals, Morgantown knocked off fourth-seeded Catholic Central, 4-1. Morgantown blanked No. 6 Wheeling Park, 2-0, to capture the tournament title.

“We want to do well in the tournament,” Melia said. “We want to put on a good show. We want to defend our title well.”