By Nick Cammuso
Times West Virginian
Two down, one to go.
After a sectional sweep of East Fairmont on Saturday, one win is all that stands between Fairmont Senior’s soccer programs and a trip to the state tournament in Beckley.
Both will get the chance to make it happen today at East-West Stadium. The Polar Bear boys’ squad hosts Weir at 5:30 p.m., while the FSHS girls will follow with a 7:30 p.m. match versus Wheeling Central.
While the FSHS boys were a Class AAA power and have been ranked in Class A-AA’s top 10 all season, its first down a classification, the team hasn’t advanced to states since 2009.
Back then, the Polar Bears used a Brooks Nucilli hat trick to roll past Wheeling Park in the regional final. They eventually lost to Woodrow Wilson in the state semifinals.
This year, Fairmont Senior (13-5-4) is more balanced when it comes to scoring but hasn’t been able to blow past teams, scoring one goal or fewer in 11 games.
Instead, they’ve relied on the goaltending of Matt Bartrug and a strong defense. It’s a unit that has allowed just a goal per game and has posted eight shutouts, including a 1-0, double-overtime blanking of East Fairmont on Saturday for the sectional crown.
But going into their matchup with 16-3-1 Weir, the past is just that — ancient history.