A Tigers Tale: North Allegheny and Ellis Win WPIAL Field Hockey Gold

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014 | 12:51 AM


The Class AA top-seeded Ellis School Tigers won their first WPIAL crown since 2010 with a 1-0 victory over the defending Class AA champion Shady Side Academy Indians at Newman Stadium at North Allegheny High School on Tuesday night.

Ellis School claimed its fifth overall title thanks in large part to the play of senior midfielder Mackenzie Haney who scored the only goal of the night with 4:25 remaining in the first half.  Haney was a force offensively in the opening half, and turned her attention toward protecting the lead in the second half as the Tigers rarely permitted the Indians a good look inside the circle. 

Despite not mounting many scoring chances for most of the game, Shady Side Academy, winners of three straight WPIAL crowns, turned up the intensity in the game’s final five minutes and nearly tied the title tilt with four minutes remaining when a 3-on-1 rush developed in the Tigers’ end.  However, the lone defenseman remaining on the play for Ellis School, Sophia Ogot, made an aggressive but outstanding defensive charge of the ball and cleared the zone before the 3-on-1 break could provide SSA with the equalizer. 

The Indians continued their desperation efforts to tie the game in the waning minutes but were shutout by goalie Brittany Ellis and the Tigers defense. Ellis School led in penalty corners on the night, 7-2, with Haney’s goal coming off a penalty corner late in the first half. 

Ellis School and Shady Side Academy have combined to win 18 of the 21 championships awarded in Class AA with the Indians winning 13.

In Class AAA, Junior forward Maddy Snyder netted a hat trick and provided North Allegheny with more than enough offense as the Tigers blanked rival Pine-Richland, 4-0, for a second straight WPIAL Class AAA championship. 

The Tigers defeated the Rams twice in the regular season and completed the sweep of their Section 1 foe on Tuesday night for their 13th WPIAL title.

Snyder opened the scoring at the 8:04 mark of the first half to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.  Less than 10 minutes later, North Allegheny struck again on a marker from Jessica Brandon, her team-best 23rd goal of the season, to push the score to 2-0, Tigers. Brandon assisted on Snyder’s next goal with 5:48 left before halftime to send NA into intermission with a 3-0 lead. 

Snyder delivered the back breaker to the Rams just 1:39 into the second half for her third goal of the night to bring the final score to 4-0, North Allegheny.

The win gave the Tigers recorded their 14th shutout of the season and seventh win in a row ahead of the PIAA playoffs.  North Allegheny improves to 17-3 overall and hopes to win its first ever PIAA playoff game next Tuesday night against the third place finisher from District 3.  Pine-Richland’s season ends with a record of 12-4.

2014 WPIAL CLASS AAA GIRLS FIELD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:

North Allegheny Tigers 4 - Pine-Richland Rams 0  (MSA)

WPIAL CLASS AAA Semifinals:

North Allegheny Tigers 11 - Mount Lebanon Blue Devils 0  (MSA)

Pine-Richland Rams 3 - Fox Chapel Foxes 2 in Overtime

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2014 WPIAL CLASS AA GIRLS FIELD HOCKEY CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:

Ellis School Tigers 1 - Shady Side Academy Indians 0  (MSA)

WPIAL CLASS AA Semifinals:

Ellis School Tigers 6 - Sewickley Academy Panthers 0

Shady Side Academy Indians 3 - Winchester Thurston Bears 2 in Overtime

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