North Allegheny notebook: Tigers soccer teams rebound after title-game losses

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Saturday, November 11, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Abigail Stager, Kieran Shannon, Ally Ruiz and Isabella Costa scored to lead WPIAL runner-up North Allegheny to a 4-2 win over District 6 champ Altoona (15-6) in the PIAA Class 4A girls soccer first round Nov. 7.

The Tigers (21-1) were to play District 3 champ Central Dauphin in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

They rebounded after falling to Fox Chapel, 1-0, in the WPIAL championship game Nov. 2, at Highmark Stadium.

Kate Friday scored 35 seconds into overtime for the Foxes.

Throughout regulation, Fox Chapel put together several chances against a North Allegheny team it lost to by one goal in a pair of regular season matchups.

North Allegheny’s back line held up and keeper Natalie Rak made handful of aggressive plays to nullify any chances for the Foxes.

With just two minutes left in the first half, North Allegheny set up for a corner kick as the Tigers looked to find their top scorer in Abigail Stager. Although the centering kick was defended well, Stager still managed to collect the ball but pushed it wide left of the cage to keep the game scoreless.

Stager once again found herself in a prime scoring position early in the second half as Rowan Barsotti hit her with a great pass in space. Stager’s initial shot rose and rang off the crossbar. The rebound fell right to her feet at the mouth of 6-yard box, but Fox Chapel keeper Lia Pizzella dove with desperation to make the stop.

“We weren’t able to come up with the goals that we needed to,” North Allegheny coach Chuck Kelley said.

As the game turned to overtime, both teams knew it was down to one play.

“It was a new game,” Kelley said. “We needed to reset ourselves.”

Boys soccer blanks State College

Arnav Patel scored to lead WPIAL runner-up North Allegheny to a 1-0 victory over State College (14-2-1) in a PIAA Class 4A boys soccer first-round win Nov. 7.

The Tigers were to meet Central Bucks South in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

North Allegheny bounced back after falling to Norwin, 2-1 (5-3 PKs) in the WPIAL championship game Nov. 4, at Highmark Stadium.

George Bunovich scored the clinching penalty kick in a shootout as No. 8 seed Norwin won its first WPIAL boys soccer championship.

Lucas Henderson, Noah Hutter and Arnav Patel scored in the shootout for the Tigers (17-2-3).

Dante Accamando made 10 saves for the Tigers in a showcase of goalkeeping talent.

Luke Brady gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute as he crashed the net and took a touch wide, turning his momentum into a goal that rattled off the crossbar and over the line.

North Allegheny clutched the lead for 60 minutes before Norwin broke through for the equalizer.

North Allegheny was seeking its 10th WPIAL title and first since 2017.

“We had some really good moments and some good opportunities,” North Allegheny coach Manny Montero said. “Credit to Norwin for creating havoc.”

Athletes sign letters of intent

Four players from the North Allegheny baseball team signed letters of intent on Nov. 8.

J.D. Costanzo (West Virginia), Charles Mau (Penn State), David Posey (Navy) and Gregory Schmidt (Mercyhurst) inked their commitments.

• North Allegheny’s girls soccer team had six players sign letters of intent Nov. 8 — Sam Braden (Slippery Rock), Libby Earley (Slippery Rock), Abby Lang (Ohio), Ally Ruiz (High Point), Abigail Stager (Kentucky) and Gracie Strzempek (Kutztown).

• Four senior members of the North Allegheny girls basketball team signed letters of intent on Nov. 8 — Lydia Betz (Goldey-Beacom), Grace Heliger (Baldwin Wallace), Caroline Henderson (Rochester Institute of Technology) and Kellie McConnell (Duquesne).

• Senior rower Lorelei Schreiber signed a letter of intent to Monmouth.

Football players earn all-conference honors

Ten members of the North Allegheny football team earned first-team Big 56 all-conference honors Nov. 8.

The group included seniors Cameron Chmura (tackle), Logan Kushner (quarterback), Daniel Sellers (defensive end), Tyree Alualu (linebacker), Khiryn Boyd (defensive back), Aidan Buggey (defensive end) and Nick Van Winkle (punter); juniors Jack Yatchenko (tackle) and Peter Notaro (kicker); and sophomore Lincoln Hoke (guard).

Second-team selections included seniors Ryan Ranallo (center) and Evan Lyon (defensive back); and juniors James Donaldson (linebacker), Liam Flaherty (linebacker) and Nick Humphries (defensive back).

Seniors Joseph Booth (guard) and Brody Thomas (defensive end) and juniors Kyle Langdon (tight end) and Dylan Langdon (linebacker) were honorable mentions.

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