Oliver Daboo nets winner in overtime to give Winchester Thurston 1st PIAA boys soccer title

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Saturday, November 20, 2021 | 4:53 PM


HERSHEY — A choice more related to superstition than diet, Winchester Thurston junior defender Oliver Daboo stopped eating chocolate a few weeks ago with the playoffs approaching.

The fast was worth it as he held a soon-to-be devoured five-pound Hershey’s chocolate bar under his arm Saturday at Hersheypark Stadium.

“Since the end of the regular season, I cut out chocolate,” Daboo said. “I told myself I am not going to eat any chocolate until we win the state championship.”

Daboo had a sweet tooth and an iron foot in the PIAA Class A boys soccer championship as he delivered the game-winning goal in overtime to lead the Bears to a 1-0 victory over defending champion Faith Christian.

It was the first state title for WPIAL champion Winchester Thurston (23-0-1), which also went unbeaten for the first time.

“He might not share that bar with anyone else,” Winchester Thurston coach Adam Brownold said of Daboo.

Brownold was ecstatic when Daboo scored to bring a state title to District 7.

“I ran onto the field and stopped to make sure it was actually a goal. … I almost climbed the fence. … I didn’t want to get a card.,” Brownold said with a smile. “I am so proud of these guys. They have worked so hard. To have a perfect season … that was our mission today.

“Everybody played and contributed. They all play together and trust each other.”

A tight game between evenly matched teams, it wasn’t until the 8:06 mark in extra time that the Bears finally found paydirt.

With a couple of players on the ground, creating a scrum in front of the net, Daboo waited for the ball to pop out. When it did, he was there to rear back and blast the 23-yard kick at Lions’ keeper JR Roberts. Roberts lunged and grabbed it, but he and the ball were across the goal line and the game was over.

Faith Christian, the District 1 champion, finished 18-3.

“There was a mad scramble in the box,” Daboo said. “It might have been a handball for them. The ball got cleared right to me. It sort of set up perfectly. It couldn’t have been any better. I hit it as hard as I could.

“Luckily, it went in.

“It was very even and I expected it might go to overtime. I just didn’t expect to score to win in overtime.”

Daboo hit the crossbar in the first half while attempting to put back a rebound off junior Alex Hauskrecht’s post-clanging shot.

Soon after, Faith Christian senior Kieran Rea also rang one off the cross bar to keep things scoreless.

“We have been so close the past couple years,” Brownold said. “We were knocking. … We cracked one off the post but finally put one in.”

Winchester Thurston posted its 18th shutout. Senior goalkeeper Otto Graham made three saves.

“It’s been something we have been working towards all year,” Daboo said. “I feel so great for the seniors who finally got their state championship after losing a couple years ago. The undefeated season on top of that makes it extra special.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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