Mercyhurst Prep’s Jarrett Harry nets hat trick to propel Lakers past Deer Lakes.

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Saturday, November 9, 2019 | 9:17 PM


The Deer Lakes boys soccer team wanted an opportunity to avenge its WPIAL Class AA championship loss to Quaker Valley.

A win Saturday at Slippery Rock would have given the Lancers that shot. But they ran into Jarrett Harry and Mercyhurst Prep in the PIAA quarterfinals.

The relentless junior forward netted a hat trick, and the Lakers held off a late Lancers surge to capture a 3-2 victory and advance to the semifinals Tuesday.

“We knew they were going to be a strong team possession-wise, and we knew that they were a little quicker than us in some spots,” Mercyhurst Prep coach Doug Bakka said. “But we felt that if we stayed organized, stay behind the ball and we have a beast (Harry) up top, we could get a chance to score.”

The Lakers had a few chances to score and most were created by Harry, who wreaked havoc in the Lancers’ defensive end.

Harry’s first goal came 17 minutes in when his header was over Deer Lakes goalkeeper Andrew Braun to give the Lakers a 1-0 lead.

The Lancers trailed, but they continued to compete.

Deer Lakes controlled the pace, generated shots and, with less than a minute to go in the first half, Devin Murray’s blast from just outside the 18-yard box evened the score at 1-1.

“They will never give up. Every single time, they will not give up,” Deer Lakes coach Dan Yates said. “They just fight and want to win and commit themselves every single game they play.”

But in the second half, the Lakers came out aggressive. They applied more pressure on the Lancers, and Harry capitalized twice.

The first came in a 53rd minute when Jacob Kessler sent a ball through in the box, and it leaked to the back post, where Harry was waiting to knock it into the back of the net.

A Mercyhurst Prep own goal in the 57th minute tied it, but the Lakers pulled ahead with six minutes left after their defense cleared it out of their end.

“The defender tried heading it, and I blocked it with my own header,” Harry said. “Then I just dribbled around him, the goalie came out and I put it bottom left.”

With just a few minutes remaining, Yates made a few adjustments and it almost paid off. A ball leaked through the back line and Colton Spence was one-on-one with the Mercyhurst Prep keeper Mark DiPietro.

“I thought we had done it again. I thought we had put it in the back of the net,” Yates said.

DiPietro came up with the save of the night to seal the victory.

Mercyhurst Prep and Quaker Valley will play Tuesday and a site and time to be announced.

Greg Macafee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Greg by email at gmacafee@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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