Sewickley Academy Boys & Shady Side Academy Girls Win WPIAL Class A Soccer Titles

Saturday, November 2, 2013 | 6:28 PM

Coming in to the WPIAL Class A soccer championships, both the boys and girls top-seeds made it through the first three rounds and into the championship finals Saturday at Highmark Stadium. Sewickley Academy was able to follow through and win the boys title where Greensburg Central Catholic could not, getting upset by Shady Side Academy in the girls finals. Here are the recaps from both Class A district championship matches.

A Boys:   Sewickley Academy Panthers 3 – Beaver County Christian Eagles 0

Anthony Stinson’s’ two goals helped the top seeded Panthers capture their first WPIAL Championship since 2007 with a convincing win over Section (5A) foe Beaver County Christian. Senior defender Jack Matten opened the scoring in the game’s 8th minute off a restart. The Panthers initial free kick attempt snuck through the hands of Eagles senior goalkeeper Jon Knab and Matten was there to head the ball into the open net for a 1-0 lead. BCC striker Abel Carleton had a great opportunity to tie the match 10 minutes later as he broke in alone down the right side. But Sewickley Academy’s Jackson O’Neill played the chance aggressively and denied the Carleton chance. Senior Steve Munn had a golden opportunity to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead in the 25th minute with a penalty kick opportunity after J.P Bowell was fouled. Munn’s shot missed the near post and the game remained 1-0. That’s when Stinson took over the contest in a 3-minute span late in the first half. Stinson started the first scoring play by coming towards the Eagles net on the right side. His centering pass was deflected right back to him and he buried a shot past Knab to give Sewickley Academy a two goal lead. The same situation developed in the 35th minute of play as Stinson broke down the right side. This time, his centering pass deflected off BCC defender Josh Layton and into the back of the net. The own goal gave the Panthers a commanding 3-0 lead. Carleton, who had tallied in all 3 Beaver County Christian playoff matches before today had another great chance to break the shutout in the 67th minute of play. But O’Neill was again the aggressor, sliding out to stop Carleton as he broke in alone once again. Sewickley Academy, who lost in last year’s semifinals but finished as the PIAA runner up, ends the WPIAL season with a (17-3) record. The Panthers title was their 5th Class A championship and sixth title overall. The championship appearance was the first ever for Beaver County Christian since joining the WPIAL in 2008. The Eagles record stands at (15-5). Both teams along with Seton-LaSalle will represent the WPIAL in the Class-A state playoffs. The Panthers will face Bishop McCort in the first round while BCC will face Brockway. Sewickley Academy is making its fourth consecutive trip to the state playoffs while Beaver County Christian will see PIAA action for the first time since 2010 and the second time in school history.

Beaver County Christian Eagles :  0 – 0 = 0
Sewickley Academy Panthers :  3 – 0 = 3


1st Half:
Sewickley Academy: Jack Matten (8th Minute)
Sewickley Academy: Anthony Stinson 32nd Minute)
Sewickley Academy: Anthony Stinson (35th Minute) – Own Goal

Beaver County Christian: Jon Knab
Sewickley Academy: Jackson O’Neill

A Girls:   Shady Side Academy Indians 4 – Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions 2

The WPIAL Class A Girls Championship game didn't end up the way the Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions had planned with a three-peat celebration.  Instead it was the Shady Side Academy Indians who hoisted the trophy for the first time since 2010 with a dominating performance that surprised most everyone in attendance except the Indians.  Coming into the game the teams had met twice in the regular season with GCC coming away with 8-2 and 7-3 victories on the way to the Section 4 Championship.  Top seeded GCC had outscored its playoff opponents 27-4 and was on a 17 game winning streak.  The #3 seeded SSA Indians had lost nine matches in a row to GCC, but today everything changed.  SSA dominated the play from the beginning controlling the play at both ends of the pitch and frustrating GCC top goal scorer Fran Crouse who had 16 goals in the previous three playoff games this year, holding her scoreless in the match.  It was SSA that got on the board first when Clasey Holshue sent a corner kick into the box where an unmarked Eliza Cochran easily headed it into the net at the 9:40 mark of the 1st half.  The score remained the same until the 38th minute when SSA's Maggie Scott got a breakaway and was able to convert just under the crossbar to give SSA a 2-0 lead going into the half.  GCC regrouped at halftime and came out on fire to start the second half finally breaking through SSA's defense for a goal just 4 minutes into the second half.  Megan Shearson set up Malea Fabean with a great crossing pass on a free kick which Fabean  headed into the net.  Not five minutes later, it was the same combination off another set piece as Shearson again set up Fabean with a cross on a free kick that deflected into the net and tied the score.  It looked like GCC was ready to take over the game, but SSA never backed down and not six minutes later Zoe Schoen picked up a loose ball just outside the goal box and fired a shot just under the crossbar that seemed to catch GCC Keeper Olivia Binda by surprise and just went over her fingertips to give SSA the lead once again 3-2.  It was a lead they would not relinquish but add to at the 24 minute mark when Maggie Scott scored her second goal of the game from almost the same spot that Schoen did, firing a dart under the crossbar for the 4-2 lead.  GCC tried to mount a comeback but SSA's solid defense turned them away and as the clock wound down the SSA fans started the celebration.  With the win SSA will advance to the PIAA playoffs as the District 7 Champions and will take on District 5 Champion Conemaugh Twp. in the first round of the state playoffs.  GCC will take on Karns City the District 9 champions in the first round.  Both games will be at a site and time determined by the PIAA.

Shady Side Academy Indians :  2 – 2 = 4
Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions :  0 – 2 = 2

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