Mars Shoots Down Moon For Third Straight WPIAL Girls AA Crown

Sunday, November 4, 2012 | 7:09 AM

Junior forward Karli Paracca led the top-seeded Mars girls soccer team to its third straight WPIAL Class AA title Saturday night at Chartiers Valley High School Stadium, scoring her team’s only goal in regulation time and then chipping home the deciding shootout goal as the Planets  (19-1-1) outlasted #2 Moon for a 1-1 (6-5 shootout) win.

Moon (20-2-0) jumped out on top early in the contest as Christine Barthen launched a 35-yard free kick into the Mars’ goal to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the game’s sixth minute. The Planets answered later in the first half as an outstanding centering pass by sophomore forward Sabrina Edwards set up Paracca’s tally to even the contest at 1-1 with fifteen minutes remaining in the opening half.

With both teams unable to score over the next 85 minutes of the game, including two fifteen minute overtime periods, the stage was set for a dramatic shootout tie-breaker.  It turned out that both head coaches, Mars’ Blair Gerlach and Moon’s Bill Pfeifer, chose wisely as they sent out their top five shooters, all ten finding the back of the net to knot the shootout at 5-5 apiece. 

After Mars’ junior goalkeeper Sarah Dailey made the first save of the shootout in the sixth round of the tie-breaker, Paracca placed the game’s final shot into the right side of the cage past Moon goalkeeper Nicole Falcione to secure the third gold medal in as many years for the Planets.

Notes: Mars and Moon both move onto the state playoff tournament next week. In the Class AA third-place consolation game earlier in the day at Chartiers Valley, senior midfielder Lauren Kavalchuk’s goal midway through the second half led Belle Vernon to a 1-0 win over Central Valley. With the victory, the Leopards earn their first-ever trip to the PIAA state playoff tournament.


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