Moravian Academy stops Winchester Thurston’s bid to repeat as PIAA Class A soccer champ

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Friday, November 18, 2022 | 4:14 PM


MECHANICSBURG – Winchester Thurston’s drive to a second straight boys soccer state championship came up just barely short Friday afternoon, as the Bears fell to Moravian Academy, 2-1, in double overtime in the PIAA Class A final.

Trey Sheeler scored 1:24 into the second extra frame with an assist from Rafael Sanjuan. Sanjuan was dribbling upfield and pushed the ball forward to Sheeler, who tapped the ball into the lower right corner of the net.

The first overtime session had great saves by each goalie, sandwiched around five corners by the Bears (19-3-1) and one crossbar shot by the Lions (18-6).

“We had a couple of chances,” Bears head coach Adam Brownold said. “That first overtime period was back and forth.”

In the first minute of overtime, Sheeler had an opportunity in the box that Winchester Thurston goalie Adrian Musekamp dove to his right to save. With two minutes remaining in the first overtime, Moravian Academy netminder Gabe Borsuk did the same to Alex Hauskrecht.

Hauskrecht’s goal 7:13 into the second half ultimately forced the overtime. He dribbled down the left side of the box and took a shot with his left foot at a tight angle.

Hauskrecht had a couple of other opportunities to put the Bears ahead. His give-and-go with Tomer Tuti resulted in a header by Tuti that was wide to the right. Two minutes later, Hauskrecht’s shot was a touch above the crossbar.

“I think in the second half we showed up,” Brownold said. “(The difference between the halves) was playing with energy. In the first half, we were floating around and not playing at our usual intensity.”

The Lions’ last best chance to win the game in regulation was a corner with under six minutes to go. The initial kick went long, but a second attempt after playing the ball back into the box came near the left post.

Sheeler put the Lions up early with a goal just 7:52 into the game. He took the shot with his left foot into the right side of the net. That was the first goal the Bears allowed in 247 minutes of state tournament soccer.

Sheeler had another opportunity minutes later, but the Winchester Thurston backs collapsed around him and prevented a shot on goal.

One of the Bears’ best chances to even the score in the first half was when Hauskrecht played the ball up to Peter Myrianthopoulos late in the period, but Lion goalie Gabe Borsuk got to the ball before there was an offensive touch in the box.

With five minutes left in the half, it was Musekamp who stopped a breakaway goal. He disrupted Selman Eris’s run down the field and kept the Bears within a goal at the halftime break.

The Bears finished with six shots on goal and six corners. Musekamp made six saves.

The Lions, who won three of their four PIAA games in overtime or penalty kicks, had eight shots on goal and six corners. Borsuk had five stops.

Last season, Winchester Thurston beat Faith Christian, 1-0, in the state final.

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