Bruins fend off Weir High, headed into OVAC tourney
WELLSBURG — The Bruins knew that regardless of what happened Thursday night, they were likely to enter the OVAC Class 5A girls soccer tournament as the No. 3 seed.
They also knew they wanted to go into the tournament, and a potential rematch with Wheeling Park — the only team so far to knock off the Bruins — in the second round, with some momentum.
Brooke did just that, pushing its record to 7-1 with a 3-0 win over Weir High Thursday, the last match before the OVAC tournament cut off, on the grass field at Brooke High School.
“It’s real exciting to win,” Brooke head coach Jack Minger said. “These girls have been working hard since April. We should be third in the OVAC right now, which is really exciting because it’s been a while.
“Weir is a good team, they moved the ball well and have good defense. It was just a good game.”
Chiara Ferrari opened the scoring for Brooke late in the first half, and Johnna Lahita netted two late goals for the Bruins to seal the deal after some tense moments and near misses on attempts to tie the game by the Red Riders.
“The one more goal really helped,” Minger said. “They played real physical against us. For some reason we just don’t step up until the second half.
“We’ve got to keep working on the little stuff.”
Weir High (2-5-1) produced several good chances in the second half while the game was within reach, but just could not get the right shot at the right time to even the score.
“Brooke is a good team,” Weir High head coach Jeremy Angelo said. “We created a lot of opportunities, we had several chances to tie it. We didn’t take advantage. Brooke is big, quick and physical in the back. We’re fast, but we’re not as big. They were able to move us off the ball a little bit.
“We have to take better shots. One or two better shots and it’s a tie game. Brooke is a really good 5A team this year and we came down here and competed.”
Ultimately, the Red Riders pressuring created a couple of chances the other way, and the Bruins were able to make them pay.
“The last few minutes we were pressing, and we made one bad trap and boom, they got a goal,” Angelo said. “Another bad one, boom, another goal. We were pressing everyone up. Defense gets tired after chasing, chasing, chasing.
“We went right at them and didn’t back down. I’m proud of the girls, they worked hard today. This was a good game.”
Ferrari got her goal in the 34th minute, connecting on a nice cross feed from a teammate to open the scoring after the Red Riders were unable to connect on their early chances.
Just prior to the goal, the Bruins also sent a shot off the crossbar.
In the second half, Weir had a couple of good looks from Olivia Baker, among others, but Brooke’s Estella Lahita was able to get in the way, or the shots missed.
Johnna Lahita got her foot on a rebound in the 77th minute to make it a 2-0 game, then tacked on another in the 80th and final minute of the game, this time sending a ball into the net after it careened off the goal post.
Weir High’s Rayna Hoover made 14 saves to keep the score within reach until the late goals.
Weir High: Goes from one rivalry to another as it is scheduled to take on Madonna on the City Championship at 10 a.m. Saturday at the J.C. Williams Complex.
Brooke: Does not have a scheduled game before the OVAC tournament.
“We’re probably gonna play University in the first round,” Minger said. “And, if we win, we’ll probably see Wheeling Park again.”