Frankfort upends Keyser 7-0, advances to sectional final

Chapin Jewell
Mineral Daily News-Tribune
Frankfort celebrates after defeating Keyser 7-0 on Thursday night. The Falcons now advance to the sectional final game against Fairmont Senior on Saturday at 12 p.m.

SHORT GAP - If you’re going to play your best soccer of the year, there’s no better time to do it than against your biggest rival in an elimination game at the end of the season. That’s exactly what Frankfort did on Thursday, exploding offensively for seven goals and defensively pitching a shutout as the Falcons rolled over Keyser 7-0 in sectional playoff action.

With the win, Frankfort now advances to Fairmont on Saturday at 2 p.m. to play in the sectional championships. The Falcons’ victory also avenges both a 1-1 tie and 2-1 loss to Keyser earlier in the season.

Entering the contest, the previous results were close enough that a Frankfort win was certainly on the table. What wasn’t in the cards was a Frankfort win by a tally as large as 7-0. Who saw that coming?

“Nobody did, including me. I always thought we were the better team, I’m just being honest, because we dominated them at our place and I think we did enough in the second game, we just couldn’t score,” Frankfort coach Patrick Brett stated.

The difference in this, the deciding game?

“Tonight, the chances went in. That was the difference in the game. We took our chances, one after the other after the other, that was the difference in the game,” Brett explained.

Carson Adams opened the scoring for Frankfort, finding the back of the net at the 34:29 mark to take an early 1-0 lead in the opening half. Approximately 10 minutes later (24:41), Levi Sgaggero bumped the Falcon lead to 2-0.

Then it was Camden Lynch’s turn to complete a hat trick, all before the first half had even ended. Lynch scored three straight goals at the 23:13, 14:01, and 9:24 marks to give Frankfort a convincing 5-0 lead.

Braxton Pyles finished off the first half with a goal (5:54) that gave the Falcons a lopsided 6-0 lead at halftime. After intermission, Pyles tacked on his second goal of the game, with 35:50 remaining in the contest, to bring the final tally to 7-0 in favor of Frankfort.

“It was clear cut for me, one team obviously wanted it more whenever they showed up. Patrick did an excellent job of getting those guys prepared and ready. Our guys lacked some preparation, practices didn’t go quite as I looked coming in. Then all-around, tonight, we just made too many mistakes. Mistakes we haven’t made at all this season,” Keyser coach Chris Halbritter said after the contest.

“They went up early, quick, and it was really hard for us to even start chipping away at it. Our team has typically rebounded pretty well when behind 1-0 or 2-0, but more than that and it’s tough. Their shots were shots our keeper had no real chance at. I told them at the half we needed to get one, then two, and try to chip away at it. Unfortunately, Frankfort held us, we couldn’t get anything going at all,” Halbritter explained.

Despite the disappointing, season ending loss, Halbritter reflects back on what has been a successful, history-making season for the Golden Tornado.

“We accomplished a lot. We accomplished things that if you had told me at the beginning of the season we were going to do, I wouldn’t have expected it. I’m very satisfied with our play throughout the season. The Frankfort win, the Fairmont Senior win, they definitely highlighted the year for us,” Halbritter noted.

The outgoing senior class in particular has certainly made their mark on Keyser soccer throughout their four years.

According to Halbritter, “The senior class is a great group of guys. They love the game of soccer, they’ve learned so much over the last four years. They know the game of soccer better than a lot of people do. It was great teaching them that, and being around them, and they’re all awesome kids. They’re all going to go on to have good futures, and I’m certainly going to miss them.”

As for the Falcons, Frankfort has been playing their best soccer down the stretch, and it all began a few games ago with a 1-0 victory over Hampshire at Hampshire.

“Tonight was the same kind of strategy that we had at Hampshire when we changed it up, pushed Jonathan (Lewis) to holding and had the three at midfield to win the midfield, and it worked again. This was the same as at Hampshire, the only difference was the goals. Same performance as Hampshire, but the goals went in tonight,” Brett explained.

Revenge was a motivating factor in Thursday’s matchup between the two Mineral County schools.

“The last loss to Keyser hurt, and it should hurt. When you lose to your cross-town rival it hurts, and that was enough motivation for these boys to say, ‘we’re going to come out here and put that right,’ and they did,” Brett explained.

The convincing win gives Frankfort plenty of momentum heading into the sectional championship game at Fairmont on Saturday.

According to Brett, “Oh yeah. We go with an expectation to give everything and you never know what can happen. We’re in the final, and when you’re in the final, either team can win. We’re going to go and give it everything we’ve got again.”