Quaker Valley beats Deer Lakes in 2OT for WPIAL boys soccer title

Friday, November 1, 2019 | 11:26 PM

For the past four seasons, Highmark Stadium has been a blessing and a curse for the Quaker Valley boys soccer team.

The Quakers captured a WPIAL title in 2016, but during the past two seasons they fell short. They lost to Shady Side Academy in double-overtime in 2017 and then in a shootout last season. On Friday night, it seemed to be looking bleak for the No. 1 Quakers (20-2) once again.

No. 2 Deer Lakes (16-5) had erased a one-goal halftime deficit to force overtime in the WPIAL Class AA championship. But this time around, it was the Quakers’ time to shine.

With about seven minutes remaining in the second overtime, Fritz Reiter delivered a ball over the top of the Lancers defenders to his twin brother, Dom, and the future Pitt Panther buried the ball into the back of the net to secure the WPIAL Class AA title 4-3.

“If the script was written for this game, you’d probably bet Dom would get the game-winner,” Quaker Valley coach Andrew Marshall said of his 52-goal scorer. “So, I’m so happy for him and happy for the boys. But what Coach (Dan) Yates has done at Deer Lakes in a year is pretty fantastic.”

While the teams weren’t battling in a ring, Marshall compared the title game to a heavyweight bout. Deer Lakes would strike a blow with a goal, and the Quakers would bounce back with one of their own.

The Lancers struck first as Tyler Tofil scored in the third minute of the game. From there, Deer Lakes possessed the ball and dictated how the game flowed through the first 20 minutes of play.

“We knew what they were going to do. They are a good side,” Yates said. “They have individual talent. They don’t move the ball like we do, and they don’t play like we do. So we came in with a gameplan.”

With about 13 minutes remaining in the half, Dom Reiter scored his first goal as he received the ball in the middle of the box amidst a group of Deer Lakes defenders and scored past Deer Lakes goalie Nick Braun for the equalizer.

Just before the half, Keller Chamovitz scored on a 30-yard free kick that gave the Quakers a one-goal lead and a momentum shift.

“We’ve been in those types of positions before,” Dom Reiter said of facing the early deficit. “We just acted like it was a 0-0 game, and we had to work our butts off to get back into it and that’s what we did.”

The second half was where the big blows were delivered, and they came in bunches.

The Lancers outscored the Quakers, 2-1, and controlled most of the possession. Michael Sullivan and AJ Dorman tacked on goals for the Lancers, and Rowan Kriebel tallied the third one for Quaker Valley.

But in the end, the Quakers came out on top in the biggest moment of the match.

“I think that they outplayed us for most of the game, to be fair,” Marshall said. “But in those crucial moments we stood up when we needed to, and I think that comes down to leadership and getting a little monkey off our back there.’

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

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