Balanced attack leads Seneca Valley to blowout win over Lower Merion in PIAA boys soccer final

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Saturday, November 19, 2022 | 10:19 PM


MECHANICSBURG — If there were any memories of last year’s 1-0 loss to Conestoga in the state finals, Seneca Valley’s boys soccer team used them for motivational purposes only.

The Raiders were never in danger of being shut out again Saturday, and quickly made it clear their team would be wearing gold medals at night’s end.

Seneca Valley dominated the PIAA Class 4A boys soccer championship 6-0 over Lower Merion, tying the mark for the most third-most goals scored in a regulation boys PIAA final.

“We’ve had a balanced offense all season,” Raiders coach George Williams said. “Our top scorers are within one or two goals of each other. They couldn’t shut everyone down.”

That balance played out on the Eagle View School turf, as five players scored.

The Raiders’ offense had been clicking since the beginning of the WPIAL playoffs, averaging 3.2 goals per game in the postseason. But Saturday night, they doubled that output on the biggest stage.

“We came into this game ready to play,” said Cole Kamarec, who had two of the tallies. “I remember coach saying our offense was our weakness, and that motivated us this season.”

Although the Raiders (22-1-1) had a 4-0 lead at the half, the key moment may have been a defensive stop.

Goalie Ryan Krumenacher committed a foul that gave the Aces (23-2) a penalty kick just 2 minutes, 41 seconds into the contest. But Krumenacher redeemed himself against Lower Merion’s Sam Nyenka with a diving stop to his left to keep Lower Merion off the board.

“That gave us a huge boost,” Williams said. “You could see the whole team shoot up after that.”

Not long after, Seneca Valley took complete control by scoring on four of its five first-half shots on goal.

Cole Kamarec opened the scoring with two goals 6:08 apart.

Kamarec got a touch off a ball that the Aces were unable to clear out of the box twice, putting the Raiders up 1-0 with 20:28 left in the half. At 24;20, he hit a grounder through to the net for a two-goal advantage.

“It was a great pass and through ball,” Kamarec said of his second score. “I just beat the defender and tapped it in.”

That pass was from Beaux Lizweski.

Then the rest of the Raiders forwards started finding their way onto the scoresheet. Gavin Loya dribbled to the goalline to the left of the net, then set up Max Marcotte in front of the goal for a 3-0 lead with 8:21 left in the half.

If there was any hope of a competitive game after that, those chances were dashed when Connor Oros headed in a goal with three seconds left in the half for a 4-0 lead.

The Raiders continued to pour it on in the second half, as Loya scored on a rebound to make it 5-0 with 33:21 left in the game. Evan Howard added a goal on his own rebound for a 6-0 lead with 20:50 on the clock for the final tally of the season.

The Raiders, who also won the 2020 PIAA title, had 12 shots on goal and four corners. Krumenacher made six saves.

The Aces took six shots on goal and took five corners. Crosby Johnson made six stops.

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