15th-Seed Shady Side Academy Takes Golden Path to WPIAL Boys 2-A Title
By: Don Rebel
Sunday, November 5, 2017 | 1:12 AM
The Cinderella story of the 2017 Shady Side Academy boys soccer team continued at Highmark Stadium at Station Square as the #15 seeded Indians upset #1 Quaker Valley in the Class-2A championship by the score of 3-2 in double overtime.
In this rematch of last year’s Class-2A title game, the top seeded Quakers came out of the gates with a fast start. Quaker Valley struck with the first goal of the game in the 6th minute on a great individual effort from Landon Grant. Taking a pass from a corner kick opportunity, Grant was able to ball handle through the Indians defense in the Shady Side Academy goal box before directing a pass to Franky Fernandez, who chipped the ball past Indians goalkeeper Chester Todd. Shady Side Academy would tie the game in the 13th minute, as Ben Ream was awarded a penalty kick after being fouled in the Quaker Valley goal box. Ream blasted a direct kick past Quakers goalkeeper Dom Lagnese to knot the game at 1-1, which is the score the half would end at. Both teams had great chances to add to their respective goal totals in the opening 40 minutes as well. Todd was superb in the opening half for the Indians, turning aside 6 of the 7 shots he faced. Shady Side Academy also had their chances, as Kenny Shergill hit the crossbar, and later when Ream hit the goal post looking for his second goal of the half.
In the second half, the offensive opportunities were less, as the teams combined for a total of three shots on goal. But each team was able to find the net once. In the 72nd minute, it was Grant again who came through for Quaker Valley. Grant converted a lead pass from Ian Rodgers to give the Quakers the lead back, but the Indians weren’t finished. With 1:29 left in regulation, Shady Side Academy got the equalizer in dramatic and sensational fashion. Eric Wolf’s throw in was re-directed off of the head of Ream to Wally Navid, who hit a perfect bicycle kick for the equalizer.
The teams would battle through the first 15-minute overtime period, and nearly half of the second before the outcome was decided. But in the 102nd minute, Shady Side Academy scored on a play that was nearly identical to the game tying goal. Wolf would throw in again, and again Ream would re-direct it towards the goal with a header. With Navid attempting another bicycle kick and just missing, Adrian Beckford re-directed the still airborne ball into the net with a header for the Golden Goal.
For Shady Side Academy, it was their first WPIAL Boys Soccer championship in their fifth title game appearance. The Indians were also able to exact some revenge against Quaker Valley, who beat Shady Side Academy in last year’s title game as well as in the PIAA semi-finals. With the win, Shady Side Academy improves to 13-7-1 in 2017 and will take on Harbor Creek in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs on Tuesday night at Seneca Valley. For Quaker Valley (19-2-0), it was their first loss since September 23rd. The Quakers will have a chance for their sixth state title when they open the PIAA playoffs against St. Mary’s. Quaker Valley lost in last season’s PIAA Championship to Lewisburg.
SHOTS ON GOAL
QV — 12
SSA — 8
QV — 31
SSA — 25
QV — 10
SSA — 5