PT begins title defense with impressive win
Peters Township began its title defense in impressive fashion. The Lady Indians easily dispatched Latrobe, 3-0, in their first-round WPIAL Class AAA soccer playoff game.
Though seeded second in the tournament, the Lady Indians are the defending district champions. They are also three-time PIAA state winners.
But, without Veronica Latsko and a number of graduates, the Indians are not that same team. An All-American, bound for the University of Virginia, Latsko has been out for the season because of an ACL injury. She had scored more than 100 goals in her career.
“There are a lot of fresh faces,” said PT head coach Pat Vereb. “For a lot of kids, it’s basically getting them to understand the importance that first-round games are always tough. Fortunately, we came out hard really quick and put the game away in the first 15 minutes.”
On their home turf in McMurray, the Lady Indians dominated the first 10 minutes of action, racking up all the goals it needed for victory.
Madeline LaVigna gathered up a loose ball in front of the net and punched it in for the first score less than five minutes into the contest. Off a free kick about a minute later, Carly Johns gave PT a commanding 2-0 lead. Laurel Carpenter tacked on the third tally when she headed a corner kick from Mariah Vucich in to the net.
All four players involved in the scoring are underclassmen. LaVigna and Vucich are sophomore defenders, Johns is a junior defender and Carpenter is a junior midfielder.
Meghan Parker earned the shutout in the nets. The senior has 13 on the season.
With the win, PT improved to 14-4-1 overall and advanced to face Pine-Richland (12-5-2) in a quarterfinal match set for 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at Chartiers Valley. The Rams needed a shootout to beat Penn-Trafford, 1-0, in overtime.
• Canon-McMillan edged Norwin, 1-0, in overtime in its first-round playoff game.
After 110 minutes of play, the game was deadlocked before being decided by a shootout, won, 4-2, by the Lady Macs. Kyra Murphy, Sydney Keremes, Aleena Poljak and Abby Gillespie scored the goals.
Murphy also excelled in the nets for CM. She made 11 saves.
With the win, the Lady Macs improved to 13-3-3 overall and advanced to the quarterfinals to face top-seeded Seneca Valley. The Raiders, who received a first-round bye, are 15-2-1 overall and host the Lady Macs at 8 p.m. Oct. 23.
• Upper St. Clair knocked off Section 4 champion, Baldwin, 3-1. Emma Hasco, Olivia Belack and Madeline Rocks scored for the Lady Panthers, who improved to 10-5-2 overall.
In the quarterfinals, USC faces Fox Chapel at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at Chartiers Valley.
• Mt. Lebanon dropped a 2-0 decision to Fox Chapel. The Blue Devils finished the year at 9-8-2 overall.
• South Fayette fell to Belle Vernon, 1-0, in the Class AA playoffs.
• Bishop Canevin defeated Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 2-1, in overtime in the Class A playoffs. The Crusaders (16-2-1) now face Sewickley Academy (10-6-3) in the quarterfinals. That match will be played at 6 p.m. Oct. 23 at Hopewell.
• Two goals by Nick Sodini and Alex Ablak paced Canon-McMillan to a 4-0 victory over Norwin in the first round of the WPIAL Class AAA boys’ playoffs. The Big Macs are the defending district champions.
• Behind the goalkeeping of Max O’Hare, Peters Township blanked North Allegheny, 3-0, in another WPIAL boys’ playoff soccer match. Nicco Mastrangelo, Matt Massucci and Mario Mastrangelo scored the goals. Troy Eskew, Ryan Ponchione (corner kick), Nicco Mastrangelo and Dylan Weyers registered assists. The Indians will play Seneca Valley Oct. 24 at North Allegheny in the quarterfinals.
• Brian Coyne’s penalty kick and Alex Gedrys’s play in the nets propelled South Fayette to victory, 1-0, against Mars in the Class AA playoffs.
• Bethel Park edged Kiski Area, 3-2, while Seton-La Salle blanked Aquinas Academy, 2-0, by Chris Cho and Matt Wilke.