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Twice is nice for Aperfine, Weir High girls keep city championship

The Weir High girls soccer team celebrates winning the city championship over Madonna on Saturday. -Joe Catullo

WEIRTON — Beginning with the opening kick, the Weir High girls soccer team came out of the gates Saturday afternoon with an aggressive mindset.

After all, it was for the city championship, and the Red Riders did not want to give the trophy back to Madonna.

Weir High held possession for most of the contest and, despite a spectacular performance from Madonna goalkeeper Abby Macek, Bella Aperfine found the back of the net twice to lead the Red Riders to their fourth consecutive city title, 2-0.

“Overall, we controlled most of the game even though they have a couple of dangerous players over there,” Weir High head coach Jeremy Angelo said. “(Isabella) Pulice and (Angelina) Spickard are great players. We have a couple of speedy girls that kept them in line.

“We played Oak Glen and Parkersburg South this week, so we’ve taken our lumps. But, we brought the physical part of it a little (Saturday). Third game of the week is tough, and it was for the city championship, so Madonna came ready to play. It was a scrappy game back and forth.”

Saturday's victory marked Weir High's fourth consecutive city title. -Joe Catullo

Aperfine’s first goal came with just 48 seconds remaining in the first half. No assist was needed, as she did it herself from a tough angle. Weir High (2-3-1) led, 1-0, at halftime.

“It gave us a little momentum and relief because, if you don’t score down there, that gives them confidence,” Angelo said. “After that, we were able to get the second one in the second half pretty early. It helps because if you make a mistake, at least you’re still up.”

The second goal occurred at the 35:19 mark in the second half. Aperfine took a pass from Kiana Luevano past Macek once again.

Overall, Macek made 20 saves. Weir High’s Alexis Adams had five.

“They peppered us, but I have a lot of inexperienced players playing defense, including a freshman and sophomore who never played before,” Madonna head coach Bob Kolanko said. “They (Weir High) had a lot of opportunities but not a lot of great opportunities. They had some good ones inside, don’t get me wrong. Abby definitely kept us in the game.

Madonna goalkeeper Abby Macek makes a save on a shot by Weir High's Bella Aperfine on Saturday. Also shown is Madonna's Julia Wingett. -Joe Catullo

“I thought the girls played very, very well. The last couple of games, we moved a lot of players around trying to find different combinations. We had to get ready for next week; that’s what we focused on. (Saturday’s) game was a game. You get to hoist the trophy. This was for us to prepare for next week.”

Aperfine continued her solid season to nobody’s surprise. Angelo believes she now has scored six goals this season, which puts her at 63 in her career.

“She plays attacking mid and scores an average of about 20 goals a year,” he said. “At that position, you have to play defense and offense. We ask her to control the game and do a lot of things. A lot of our stuff runs through her, and she makes the coaches jobs a little easier. Having her is part of a key to our success.”

UP NEXT

Madonna: Travels to face Catholic Central Thursday in the Class 1A/3A OVAC tournament. The Blue Dons (2-2-3) fell to the Crusaders, 4-1, this past Thursday on the road.

Weir High's Bella Aperfine heads for the net past teammate Ava Taylor and Madonna's Krista Velegol, left, and Olivia Bine on Saturday. -Joe Catullo

“The game we played on Thursday was so not us. We weren’t aggressive to the ball,” Kolanko said. “(Saturday), we were a little more aggressive. You play teams you’re more comfortable to, and usually the more aggressive team comes out on top. Hopefully these girls take that to heart.”

Weir High: Did not qualify for the Class 4A tournament, unless at least two teams cannot compete. It currently ranks sixth. Otherwise, its next scheduled contest is on Sept. 28 at St. Clairsville. It will look for more opponents for the upcoming week, however.

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