Seton-LaSalle Goes Overtime to Win Boys A Soccer Title
Saturday, November 7, 2015 | 11:50 PM
The Avonworth Antelopes and the Seton-LaSalle Rebels had met twice during the regular season in Class A Section 3 with each team coming away with a 2-1 win. So it was no surprise that the WPIAL Class A Title match at Highmark Stadium between the two schools was a tight battle as well. Senior midfielder Brandon Benedetti who had the game-winning goal in the Rebels 2-1 opening round win over Aquinas Academy stepped into solid right footed strike from 25-yards out and found the top left corner of the goal in the 7thminute of overtime propelling Seton-LaSalle to a 1-0 win and giving the Rebels their 6th WPIAL Class A Championship.
The goal for Benedetti was his 12th of the season, second during the playoffs and his fourth game-winner in 2015.
Avonworth has several scoring chances throughout the match and three of their best came from senior midfielder Griffin Geppert. Geppert narrowly missed on opportunities in the games 9th and 28th minutes in the first half and 12 minutes into the second half, he just missed on a header attempt at the far post.
The Rebels best chance in the first half came on a free kick by senior Leo Wilson. Less than 24-hours after booting three extra-points in a 1st round football playoff game, Wilson fired a direct kick over the top of the upper right corner of the net in the game’s 8th minute.
The Rebels best chance for a goal in regulation came in the 62nd minute of play again off of a free kick. Benedetti chipped the ball on a half volley towards Avonworth goalkeeper Corey Dick. The ball got loose to the left and behind the sophomore and both Nick Messina and Michael Allen scrambled for chances to put the loose ball in the net, but the shot attempt was cleared off the line by the Antelopes junior defender Patrick Deiger which kept the game scoreless and set up the overtime heroics for the Rebels Benedetti.
The fourth seeded Antelopes had 12 shot attempts in the match led by Geppert’s six. Dick made six saves in the loss for Avonworth. The 4th seeded Antelopes, who were making their first ever appearance in the championship game, finished the WPIAL season at (15-4-3). Samuels made 4 saves to record his 6th shutout of the season for (17-5) Seton-LaSalle.
Junior forward Chris Stack, the Rebels leading goal scorer on the season with 16, paced the Seton-LaSalle attack with 3 shots. The title is the first for #3 Seton-LaSalle since capturing back-to-back gold medals in 2010 and 2011.
Both teams now move onto the PIAA State Playoff Tournament to represent District 7. The Rebels earn the top seed from the WPIAL in the Class A bracket and Seton-LaSalle will host Berlin in the first round. The Mountaineers (15-6) defeated North Star 2-1 in overtime to win the District 5 Championship.
Avonworth heads on the road to face the Class A District 10 champion. Mercyhurst Prep (18-1-1) and Fairview (14-6) will face each other in that district’s title match on Saturday night. Sewickley Academy, the top seed in the WPIAL Tournament, won the Class A consolation match over Greensburg Central Catholic and heads to the PIAA playoffs as the 3rd team from District 7. The Panthers will visit Karns City to open the tournament. The Gremlins defeated Brockway 1-0 to capture the District 9 Championship.
The state playoffs begin next Tuesday November 10th.
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