Seneca Valley ends PT’s streak
Seneca Valley ends Peters soccer reign
After three consecutive years, there will be a new PIAA Class AAA champion in girls’ soccer this season. Seneca Valley made sure of that when the Raiders defeated Peters Township for the second week in a row.
After wresting the WPIAL title from the Indians, 1-0, in the District 7 championship match at Highmark Stadium on Nov. 2, the Raiders again blanked PT, this time 2-0, in a PIAA quarterfinal playoff game at Chartiers Valley Stadium.
With 14:36 to play in the first half, Cassidy Testa slipped a shot past Megan Parker for the only tally the Raiders needed. However, in the 78th minute, Emily Wagner headed a throw-in from Lexus Lambert into the net for an insurance goal.
The Indians were not without their scoring chances. A shot by Laurel Carpenter in the 73rd minute hit the crossbar. Peters Township, which also was awarded three free kicks early, almost tied the game in the 38th minute from 30 yards. Emily Franty’s throw lofted in front of the Seneca Valley goal, striking the head of freshman Mia Toscano but the ball went one foot wide of the net.
“They are such a good program, they really are,” Seneca Valley head coach Dave Sylvester said. “They have quality players and a quality coaching staff. This has been an ongoing thing between us and them for a while. It’s kind of nice to come out on the other end for a change. It’s kind of unbelievable.”
While the Raiders improved to 20-2-1, Peters finished the year at 17-6-1 overall. The Indians had beaten the Raiders in last year’s district final.
With the loss comes an end of an era as Veronica Latsko along with Parker, Franty, Riley Partyka, Kristen Czajkowski and Autumn Harriger graduate. An All-American and two-time Pennsylvania Player of the Year, Latsko missed the entire season due to an ACL injury. The Virginia recruit had scored over 100 goals in her career.
Of the group and the team, which has compiled an 84-12-2 record, complete with three state titles, two district championships, one WPIAL runner-up trophy and four section banners, Park said, “I wish this could have lasted longer, but I had the most fun these last four years on this team. This team is the most fun you could ever have in high school.”
PT head coach Pat Vereb added, “I couldn’t be more proud of our effort. I thought we deserved a better fate.”
The fate of the program, however, is in good hands as the Lady Indians return two key midfielders in Madison Santo and Carpenter as well as defenders Carly Johns, last year’s goalkeeper, Madeline LaVigna and Madison Schwerzler, along with forwards such as Toscano, Emily Cottrill and Erin Helbig.
Other key components to PT’s success this season included: Reilly McGlumphy, Caroline Taylor, Abigail Szymanski, Nicole Kittelberger, Mackenie Gentile, Caitlin Pendergast, Mariah Vucich, Devon Recktenwald and Andrea McGinnis.