South Fayette Roars to WPIAL Boys AA Soccer Crown
Sunday, November 8, 2015 | 12:06 AM
Jordan Smith’s blast just more than halfway through the first overtime period provided the golden goal for South Fayette, as the Lions captured their first boys’ soccer title. South Fayette, the No. 4 seed, edged second-seeded Mars 3-2 in the Class AA Championship at Highmark Stadium.
Smith’s winner came from distance, but the senior’s kick was perfectly placed in the top corner, as Fighting Planets’ goalkeeper Dale Glavin had no chance to make the save. It marked Smith’s second tally of the contest, as he broke a scoreless tie in the 45th minute on a scramble in front. Originally, the play appeared to be an own-goal by Mars, but Smith was credited with the goal.
Just more than seven minutes later, the Lions (18-3-0) took a commanding 2-0 lead, as Smith delivered a beautiful pass to teammate Matt Thomas, whose shot tricked past Glavin and across the goal line.
As has been their trademark throughout this postseason, though, the Fighting Planets (18-3-1) battled back, as Nick Cimini cashed in a loose ball following a throw-in to pull Mars within one in the 59th minute.
With less than five minutes left in regulation, Cimini notched the equalizer, as he found the back of the net on a header, again created by a throw-in by the Planets.
South Fayette refocused once the match entered overtime, however, setting the stage for Smith’s heroics.
The Lions had the better of the play for most of the scoreless first half, but missed the net on several prime chances. In the match, the Lions directed nine shots in goal, while the Planets registered eight.
The championship tilt marked the third time South Fayette reached the title match, as the Lions came up short in both 2002 and 2013. Conversely, the Planets made their fifth appearance in the championship, prevailing in 2008 and 2009.
Both teams advance to the PIAA Class AA postseason, which commences on Tuesday, Nov. 10.
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