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Aperfine lifts Weir girls over Madonna

OUT IN FRONT — Weir High’s Kiana Luevano kicks the ball past Madonna’s Julia Wingett and Onna Welsh during Thursday’s Class AA/A Region 1 Section 1 semifinal. (Photo by Michael D. McElwain)

WEIRTON — The Weir High girls soccer team, led by senior scoring leader Isabella Aperfine, dominated No. 3 seed Madonna, 4-0, on Thursday to punch its ticket to the Class AA/A Region 1 Section 1 championship game Saturday at Oak Glen.

The Golden Bears, the top seed in the section, had no trouble with Wheeling Central, setting up the rivalry match between the two top tournament seeds. The time of the game is to be announced.

Pressure was the game plan, and Jeremy Angelo’s club followed the plan to perfection.

“We had a lot of possessions, stopped them a lot and just kept the pressure on the whole game. We had the numbers, so we just kept coming and coming,” Angelo said. ”

Angelo had 24 girls to just 15 for Bob Kolanko, the veteran Blue Don coach. Angelo kept substituting fresh athletes into the game. Kolanko had only four subs, and the Weir High pressure took its toll, especially in the second half.

Weir High (7-6-3), the second seed, scored two goals in each half, with Aperfine, a four-year letterwinner, finding the net three times.

She started the scoring a little less than nine minutes into the game when she got behind the Blue Don defense, attacked the goal and blistered the ball past Madonna senior keeper Abby Macek.

Callie Wood, a sophomore, got the ball in front of the goal and slipped it into the right corner of the net at the 5:39 mark to arm the Red Riders with a 2-0 lead at the half.

Aperfine was in the right place at the right time all game and perfectly placed a boot into the left corner of the net with 20:58 left and found herself open again in point blank range in front of the net. With her experience, she knew what to do. That goal came with 11:08 left in the game.

“When you play kick ball the first 20 minutes and not try to control it, you’re not going to have many opportunities,” said Kolanko, whose club brought down the curtain on the 2020 season with a record of 6-9-1. “Unfortunately, we saw way too much of that during the season.

“The Weir High defense is good, but we kicked the ball right to them just about every single time. We made it easy for them. We didn’t get a chance to see much of their defense because we didn’t challenge them.”

While Macek turned back 17 Weir High shots, Red Rider senior co-captain Alexis Adams didn’t get much action in goal. She stopped three Madonna shots on goal.

Angelo was pleased with the way his girls played.

“We’re moving the ball, attacking and defending,” Angelo said after his team shut out their cross city rival for the second time this year. “We didn’t give up many shots tonight. We kept them at bay for the most part.

“It’s playoff time now. It’s good that we’re peaking now rather than early in the year. We’re just working hard each day and trying to get a little better.”

UP NEXT

Weir High: Will battle for a sectional title against Oak Glen Saturday. The time is TBA.

“Oak Glen beat us pretty good during the regular season, so it should be pretty good motivation for the girls to go out and play better than we did the last time,” Angelo said. “Oak Glen is pretty good. They’ve had a good squad the past three or four years.”

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