Peters Township holds off North Allegheny to defend WPIAL Class AAA boys lacrosse title

Friday, May 25, 2018 | 7:39 PM

Peters Township broke a 7-7 tie in the fourth quarter with back-to-back goals from Aiden Stopperich and Daniel Bacchiochi to propel the second-seeded Indians to a 9-7 victory over No. 4 North Allegheny (13-8) for their second straight WPIAL Class AAA boys lacrosse championship Friday afternoon at Robert Morris.

The Indians (19-3) received a hat trick from senior Wheeling Jesuit commit Colton Abate.

The Tigers' Kyler Byerly and Matt Osten each notched a hat trick.

North Allegheny's Byerly and sophomore Nick Kairys and the Indians' Aiden McCall and Abate tallied markers as the teams played to a 2-2 tie in the first quarter.

The reigning WPIAL champions began to dictate the pace of the game in the second quarter and struck for three straight goals for a 5-2 lead with 4:40 to play in the half. Abate, senior Benjamin Delaney and senior Nicky Phelps scored during the three-goal spurt. Phelps, a U.S. Lacrosse All-American, spearheaded the effort by consistently winning draws throughout the afternoon.

North Allegheny's Matt Osten netted back-to-back goals, the second with 2:30 left in the first half, to trim the score to 5-4 Indians. Peters Township regained its two-goal edge on a man-up goal by Abate with 49 seconds before intermission. The Indians were 1 for 2 on man-up situations while the Tigers were 0 for 3.

Peters Township continued to dominate time of possession in the third quarter before Byerly managed to muscle his way in for a short-range North Allegheny goal with 4:53 on the clock to bring the score to 6-5 Indians.

Peters Township's Bacchiochi answered with a goal a little over a minute later and the lead swelled back to 7-5.

With eight seconds remaining in the third quarter, Peters Township turned the ball over deep in the NA zone. North Allegheny sophomore Judd Powell heaved an 80-yard pass to Byerly who beat the buzzer with a shot to cut the deficit to 7-6.

Osten found the equalizer for North Allegheny with 8:21 to play for a 7-7 deadlock. That set the stage for Stopperich and Bacchiochi, who put Peters Township ahead to stay, 9-7. The two Peters Township goals came within 31 seconds of each other, the second with 6:08 to play.

Both teams qualified for the PIAA playoffs that begin next week.

Randy Gore is a TribLive High School Sports Network broadcaster.

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