Familiar faces in soccer finals
For the sixth year in a row, Peters Township (16-4-1) advanced to the WPIAL Class AAA girls’ championship and the foe will be a familiar one. The Lady Indians will face Seneca Valley (17-2-1) in the finals set for 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1 at Highmark Stadium.
The two teams met in last year’s title tilt with Peters edging the Raiders in overtime.
The road to the finals was not easy for the Lady Indians. They needed back-to-back shoot-out victories over Pine-Richland, 1-0, and Bethel Park, 2-1.
Megan Parker was the hero in both instances, making two critical saves in both contests.
In Monday’s semifinals, Parker made the first two stops against the Hawks while Laurel Carpenter and Carly Johns gave the Indians a commanding, 2-0 lead. Riley Partyka iced the victory with her kick.
While Parker made the stops against the Rams, Carpenter, Johns and Partyka as well as Madison Santo scored, giving PT a 4-2 edge in the quarterfinals.
“Megan has been through a lot,” said head coach Pat Vereb, noting the ACL injury that prevented her from participating in the Lady Indians’ district and state championship run in 2012. “She had to watch the team’s run of success last year and that’s been difficult. This certainly was her goal. To help this year’s team win,” added Vereb.
“Megan is the type of person who will do whatever you ask of her. No question, she made our season.”
Meanwhile, in regulation, BP (17-3-1) made the Indians’ first goal when the defense cleared the ball back to the keeper. When the keeper tried to play it, then it ended up an own goal. Halle Hammer, however, erased the advantage, tying the game in the 51st minute. But, after 110 minutes and the loss of one player to two yellow cards, the game ended in the shootout.
USC-PT boys battle
The boys’ Class AAA championship will be an all-Section 5 final as Upper St. Clair (19-0-1) and Peters Township (16-3-2) scored easy wins in their semifinal games. USC and PT battled at 8:15 p.m. Nov. 1 at Highmark Stadium.
The Panthers avenged their female counterparts’ 3-0 loss to Senceca Valley when they whipped Bethel Park (15-5-1), 6-1, at Baldwin.
USC jumped on the Hawks for three quick goals in 3:14 of the first half and then tacked on another set of three tallies within 88 seconds of each other in the second half.
“We got a really good start,” said head coach Uwe Schneider. “We executed well and capitalized on our opportunities.”
Troye Kiernan scored twice, once on a penalty kick. Joel Hart also suppliewd two goals. Adam Heil and Joseph Bell had the other tallies, giving USC 100 for the season. USC has allowed only 11 goals.
William Ruschel scored for the Hawks, who will play a consolation match Oct. 30 to determine the final qualifier for the PIAA tournament.
“That goal was a wake-up call for us,” Schneider said of the tally that narrowed USC’s lead, 3-1. “Bethel was a good team. They played us fair.”
The Panthers will face a familiar foe, too, in the WPIAL final as Peters Township dispatched Canon-McMillan, 4-0, to set up the all-Section 5 final for the second year in a row. Last year, CM won its first WPIAL title with a win over USC. But, a repeat was not to be as Nicco Mastrangelo registered a hat trick and Matt Massucci recorded the other goal for the Indians.
Mario Mastrangelo picked up two assists while Troy Eskew added the other dish.
Senior Goal Max O’Hare earned the shutout, his third of the playoffs. Max Lindsay, Kelson Marissa, Sean Harrison, and Ryan Ponchione excelled on defense while Rylen Faloni and Dylan Weyers controlled the midfield.
In other semifinal action, Seton-La Salle (16-3-1) dropped a 4-2 decision to Beaver County Christian (15-4) at Hampton.
South Fayette (17-2-2) handed South Park (19-1-1) its first loss, 1-0, and advanced to the Class AA championship match. The Lions will face West Allegheny (17-0-3) at 5:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2 at Highmark Stadium. The Indians won their semifinal match, 1-0, over Sewickley Academy.
Familiar faces in soccer finals
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