No. 8 Hampton tops Kiski Area to advance to WPIAL boys soccer quarterfinals

Saturday, October 24, 2020 | 3:56 PM

Through 40 minutes Saturday at Fridley Field in Allison Park, No. 8 Hampton and No. 9 Kiski Area were scoreless, but as the first half turned to the second, the game opened up and the scoring started.

Hampton (11-4-1) scored three goals, and the Cavaliers (11-5-1) only managed one as the Section 1-3A runner-up Talbots advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 win.

“Kiski is a very quality team, and in the end, we score a goal, they answer, and we had to fight through that adversity to score two more and finish it off,” Hampton coach Matt McAwley said. “So it feels awesome, and to have the ability to play against Mars again, who is a section rival, the boys are excited for that.”

The Talbots will play No. 1 Mars (15-0) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mars Athletic Complex.

The first half was a back-and-forth battle that saw both teams have opportunities. The Talbots controlled possession, and the Cavaliers countered when they could, including a Campbell Curry volley in the final minutes of play.

Sooner or later, it seemed as though the Talbots would strike. They earned several corner kicks throughout the first half and had numerous shots on net, but Kiski Area sophomore goalie Maddox Anderson was lights out through the first half.

“He did a great job, and that’s his job, to kind of keep us in the game, and he did that,” Kiski Area coach Sean Arnold said. “I thought we were a little too defensive in the first half, and we didn’t have too many opportunities, at least quality ones.”

With 27 minutes, 33 seconds left in the game, the Talbots finally got one past Anderson to take the lead. Junior midfielder Holden Pritts received a ball on the left side of Kiski’s 18-yard box and put a right-footed shot just inside the right post to put the Talbots ahead.

Kiski Area answered six minutes later when Owen Zimmerman converted a shot inside Hampton’s 18-yard box to tie the score 1-1.

“It’s always great to see that, and you would hope to see the momentum swing more than it did when that happened,” Arnold said. “But they had a good response to us.”

That response came with just under 18 minutes remaining as Gabe Viszlay converted a shot from the right side of the 18 to the far post to put the Talbots ahead for good. Hampton’s Corey Scherer scored the third goal.

“That was a great finish, especially when there’s pressure on you,” McAwley said about Viszlay’s goal. “For him to calmly finish it, put it into the back of the net and put us back up a goal, it definitely rose the spirits after the goal that was scored.”

Now, the Talbots are preparing for another matchup with Mars. They lost to the Fightin’ Planets twice this season, 3-0 and 2-1, but Hampton is excited for another shot at the classification’s top seed.

“It’s easy to be able to break down the mistakes we made in the first two games and build off of those,” McAwley said. “There were a lot of positives from the last game, and it will be a situation where we watch some film, we go to work at practice and we try to find a way to beat them. They are a very quality team.”

The Cavaliers, with just one senior starter, figures to be back and could use this as a learning experience.

“They gotta figure it out. I’m not going to discount our seniors. They were here for four years. They played hard, and they did everything we asked them to do,” Arnold said. “But it seems like two years in a row, our underclassmen, we needed them to push through for the seniors, and we kind of fell short.”

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

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