Soccer

Scholastic Notebook – 04/10/2015
April 10, 2015
Beaver Falls High School is trying to make sure the school’s 1975 baseball team won’t be forgotten. At a baseball game in two weeks, the ’75 team that won a WPIAL title will be honored before a Beaver Falls game. No one is quite ready to call this year’s Beaver Falls team championship caliber, but the Tigers are doing a pretty good job of grabbing some attention for themselves. It’s still extremely early in the WPIAL baseball season, but Beaver Falls is 3-0. That might not sound like much, but considering the past few years, it is a gigantic step forward for Beaver Falls.

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Scholastic Notebook – 01/09/2015
January 9, 2015
New Castle High School’s Malik Hooker apparently isn’t the only one who wears the athletic “genes” in the family. Hooker was one of the best two-sport athletes in the state the past two years, standing out in football and basketball. He now is a freshman football player at Ohio State, but is being redshirted this year. Two of Hooker’s younger brothers are now playing on the New Castle basketball. One of them is the team’s leading scorer in his first year as a starter. Marquel Hooker, a 5-foot-10 junior, is averaging 16.4 points a game. He never saw regular varsity time before this season.

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MSA Sports Countdown – Top 25 WPIAL Stories From 2014 – 01/07/2015
January 7, 2015
It has become a tradition like no other...at least during the holidays here at MSA Sports. Here is a look back at another great high school sports year with the top stories from around the WPIAL in 2014. We conclude our countdown with all 25 stories from #25 through #1. #25 - Game, Set, Match and Gold The unique streak continued in 2014 for Sewickley Academy. 2009 was the last time a Panthers duo did not win gold the WPIAL boys doubles tennis tournament. back in April, the Sewickley Academy tandem of Ryan Gex and Luke Vith won gold in Class AA.

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MSA Sports Countdown – Top 25 WPIAL Stories From 2014 – 12/29/2014
December 29, 2014
It has become a tradition like no other...at least during the holidays here at MSA Sports. It's time to look back at another high school sports year with the top stories from around the WPIAL in 2014. We continue our countdown with the five stories that ended up #20 through #16. {Left:  Members of the Sabers girls volleyball team are paraded around Ford City after winning the schools first ever WPIAL girls volleyball championship in the schools final year.} #20 - NA Tigers:  Kings of the Pool

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2014 PIAA Boys Soccer Playoffs Final Results
November 15, 2014
Another golden soccer ball is headed to the Peters Township High School trophy case after the Indians won the PIAA Class AAA state title Saturday 2-1 at Hersheypark Stadium. The state title is the fourth for Peters Township, which also won in 1988, 1989 and 2007. Meanwhile, there was no back-to-back PIAA crowns for Sewickley Academy. The Panthers, who settled for silver in the district playoffs earlier this month, return home from Hershey with more silver after being blanked by District 11 champion Moravian Academy Friday night 4-0. Here are ALL of the results from the 2014 PIAA Boys Soccer Playoffs. 2014 PIAA CLASS AAA BOYS SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: PETERS TOWNSHIP INDIANS 2 - Great Valley Patriots 1

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2014 PIAA Girls Soccer Playoffs Final Results
So close, and yet so silver for Canon-McMillan. Sabrina Bryan's goal just 32 second into the match would not hold up as Central Bucks West scored with under six minutes left in regulation to force overtime, then tallied the game winner off a free kick as the Bucks prevailed in OT 2-1 Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium. It is the second runner-up trophy for the Big Macs, who lost to Seneca Valley in the district finals. The weekend got off to a rough start Friday when WPIAL Class A champion Greensburg Central Catholic was shutout by District 3 Camp Hill Trinity 3-0. Here are ALL of the results from the 2014 PIAA Girls Soccer Playoffs. 2014 PIAA CLASS AAA GIRLS SOCCER STATE CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:

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Scholastic Notebook – 11/14/2014
November 14, 2014
It has been well-documented how Pine-Richland quarterback Ben DiNucci has turned out to be one of the most prolific passers in the history of the WPIAL. But DiNucci also has benefitted from a terrific one-two receiving punch. It looks like you could call seniors D’ondre Gastion and Mike Merhaut are a receiving duo for the ages. There are no records available for best receiving one-two punches, but you can bet you will be hard-pressed to find many duos from the same team who have been as productive as Gastion and Merhaut. How many teams have had two receivers with 100 or more career catches? But that’s what Pine-Richland has in Gastion and Merhaut, a pair of seniors.

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Scholastic Notebook – 11/07/2014
November 7, 2014
If the first round of the WPIAL playoffs proved anything, it was that the Foothills are alive. Since coming back to being a WPIAL conference in 2006, the Foothills was always thought to be the weaker sister to all of the other Class AAAA conferences. Sure, it might have had a strong team like a Gateway, Penn-Trafford or even Central Catholic. But as far as strength from top to bottom, the Foothills didn’t measure up. This year, though, the Foothills flexed some muscle like never before. Four Foothills teams won first-round games – Penn-Trafford, McKeesport, Altoona and Plum. It was the first time since 2006 that the top four teams in the Foothills won first-round games. The two that lost were fifth-place Norwin and sixth-place Connellsville.

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Seneca Valley, Montour & Greensburg CC Win WPIAL Girls Soccer Titles
November 3, 2014
A pair of top-seeds that have won recent district girls soccer championships added to their collection this year while a #5-seed quietly captured the schools first ever soccer crown. Seneca Valley repeated as AAA champs with their fourth crown while Greensburg Central Catholic cruised to a third A title in the last four years. However Montour is a first time soccer champion after stunning former champs South Park and Mars in the Class AA Semifinals and Finals. Here are ALL of the results from the 2014 WPIAL Girls Soccer Playoffs. All results marked with (MSA) can be heard archived here at MSAsports.net sponsored by Carlow University. 2014 WPIAL GIRLS SOCCER CLASS AAA CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH:

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South Park Eagles Soar to Perfect Soccer Championship
November 1, 2014
The South Park Eagles came into the championship match at Highmark Stadium with a staggering goal differential of 109-4 so it figures that a shut-out would be the perfect ending to a perfect season as the Eagles won their first WPIAL Boys Class AA soccer championship since 2006 by shutting out 3rd seeded West Allegheny 1-0. It also figures that the leading goal scorer in the WPIAL would net the games only tally and that was the case for South Park senior forward Justin Minda. Minda converted a nice feed from fellow senior Brandon Walbert in the games 38th minute for his 39th goal of the season. Walbert’s through-ball found Minda open in the right side of the box and Minda wasted no time in chipping the ball past West Allegheny’s Tyler Eritz for the score.

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Winchester Thurston Unseats Sewickley Academy in Boys A Shootout
Sewickley Academy have certainly been no strangers to the WPIAL Class A Boys Soccer Finals, having won the title in 2005 and 2007 and 2013.  In stark contrast, Winchester Thurston was making their first ever appearance in the Finals, highlighted by tough 1-0 victories over Riverview and Vincentian in the quarters and semis respectively. The experience was not a factor as the Bears edged the Panthers 1-0 in an overtime shootout. The 2 teams underwent a feeling-out process throughout the 1st half, though both teams had their share of chances.  Solid goaltending and defense, in a trend that continue throughout the game, kept both teams off the board. 

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Montour Girls Win First Soccer Crown in Beating Mars
The Montour girls’ soccer team had no playoff victories in school history heading into the 2014 postseason, but the No. 5 seed Lady Spartans now have a WPIAL title trophy, as they knocked off second-seeded Mars 3-1 in the Class AA Championship match on Saturday at Highmark Stadium. Montour jumped out to an early lead less than five minutes into the contest, as senior Lauren Gerstel’s free kick from beyond midfield fooled Mars’ goalkeeper Sammy Papik. Papik got a piece of the ball, but it bounced over her head and into the net to provide the early edge to the Spartans.

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GCC Crushes Freedom For 3rd Girls A Soccer Title in 4 Years
The start was at 11:00am, but for the Freedom Bulldogs it may as well been at midnight. Freedom was not able to finish off their Cinderella run when they lost to the top seeded Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 9-1 in WPIAL Class A Soccer Championships. The game started out like the semi-final game for Freedom vs Shady Side Academy and they controlled the ball and played offense most of the first five minutes. The problem was though after that it was all Centurions. Greensburg opened the scoring when senior Cassie Sauder took a shot from twenty yards out and it cleared the Bulldogs keeper Jacklyn Hartle at the 7:58 mark. 

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Peters Township Whips Upper St. Clair 5-1 to Repeat as Boys Soccer AAA Champs
Peters Township turned the same trick they did last season and treated their fans to a ninth WPIAL championship in soccer Friday night at Highmark Stadium.The Indians playing in a constant cold. light rain built a 3-0 against their conference rival Upper Saint Clair and eventually won going away 5-1. The Indians entered the game as the three seed against the top-seeded Panthers. USC, just as they had done last year entering the championship tilt had beaten Peters Township twice during the regular season. Peters though, just as they did last year though proved winning the last game trumps winning the first two.

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Seneca Valley Blanks Canon-McMillan to Win 2nd Straight WPIAL AAA Girls Soccer Crown
Seneca Valley won their second straight and fourth overall WPIAL girls soccer championship with a 1-0 victory over the Canon-McMillan Big Macs at Highmark Stadium Friday night. The top-seeded Raiders got everything they wanted from the upstart 10th seed as the two teams battled to a scoreless tie at the end of the first forty minutes. In fact Canon-Mac seemed to gain a lot of confidence and had the better of play for the first 10 minutes of the 2nd half. The Big Macs though despite generating several opportunities and three corner kicks in the opening minutes of the second half could not sneak one behind Seneca Valley net keeper Jessica Neil.

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Scholastic Notebook – 10/31/2014
October 31, 2014
The Southmoreland football team failed to make the WPIAL football postseason again. The Scotties haven’t been to the playoffs since 1979, the longest current drought in the WPIAL. But there are some other playoff droughts that are notable as the WPIAL playoffs get under way Friday with 32 games around the area. Three teams in the postseason have never won a WPIAL playoff game. Never, ever, ever. They are Laurel Highlands, Mapletown and Altoona. Altoona is a little deceiving. The school re-joined the WPIAL for football only a few years ago. But the school played in the WPIAL a long time ago. Altoona has played in only two previous WPIAL playoff games. The last was in 2012. The first was in 1969 when Altoona lost to Gateway in the WPIAL final.

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WPIAL Soccer Semifinals Monday Recaps
October 28, 2014
In the end, the WPIAL soccer steering committee did a pretty good job as the top seeds have progressed nicely through the district postseason. In fact, five of the six top-seeds will be playing for gold this weekend along with a pair of #2's, two #3's and a #5. The lone exceptions are the surprise runs of the #10 Canon-McMillan Big Macs in girls AAA and the #11 Freedom Bulldogs in girls A.  Here are recaps from all twelve boys and girls WPIAL Soccer Semifinals matches on Monday as heard here on MSA Sports. All six title matches this weekend will also be heard here on MSA Sports. A special thanks to Mike Azadian, Brandon Showers, Adam Hoerner, Rob Longo, Mike Sackley, Cory Campano, Lou Rood, Greg Kuntz and Mark Schaas for their help on these recaps!

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 10/26/2014
October 26, 2014
We are all set to cut the ribbon and take a ride on the 2014 version of the Highway to Heinz starting this week here on the MSA Sports Network. After the WPIAL Football Playoff Pairings Show on Monday, we'll be set for First Round action on Friday with ALL 32 games ONLY here on The Network starting with the MSA Sports Pregame Show and concluding with the one and only WPIAL Scoreboard Show.

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Scholastic Notebook – 10/24/2014
October 24, 2014
Has there ever been a WPIAL football regular season that was so perfect as this one? Probably not. Fourteen teams go into the final night of the regular season with undefeated records. Two of them play (West Allegheny at Central Valley). That means there could be 13 teams that finish the regular season with perfect records. That would be the most in the WPIAL in a long time. Possibly ever. Checking records going back 37 years, there has never been a WPIAL season with 13 undefeated and untied teams (there used to no overtime in WPIAL football).

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This Week on the MSA Sports Network – 10/19/2014
October 19, 2014
While the 'Stretch Run' concludes in high school football, we continue the district playoffs and championships of several other fall high school sports this week here on the MSA Sports Network. We wrap up the regular season with Week Nine and 29 WPIAL football games on Friday and Saturday with Friday's action starting with the MSA Sports Pregame Show and concluding with the one and only WPIAL Scoreboard Show.

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