South Park Eagles Soar to Perfect Soccer Championship

Saturday, November 1, 2014 | 10:32 PM

The South Park Eagles came into the championship match at Highmark Stadium with a staggering goal differential of 109-4 so it figures that a shut-out would be the perfect ending to a perfect season as the Eagles won their first WPIAL Boys Class AA soccer championship since 2006 by shutting out 3rd seeded West Allegheny 1-0.

It also figures that the leading goal scorer in the WPIAL would net the games only tally and that was the case for South Park senior forward Justin Minda. Minda converted a nice feed from fellow senior Brandon Walbert in the games 38th minute for his 39th goal of the season. Walbert’s through-ball found Minda open in the right side of the box and Minda wasted no time in chipping the ball past West Allegheny’s Tyler Eritz for the score.

The Indians senior goalkeeper was stellar in the net for West Allegheny, making key saves in the second half to keep the score at 1-0. Eritz denied South Park’s junior forward Christian Payne several times in the game’s final 40-minutes and Payne also came close to scoring a goal after a nice move but his shot from 15-yards out found the crossbar. Eritz finished the game with 9-saves for the Indians. South Park, who has not been shut-out in 2014, posted its 18th clean sheet in a match where senior goalkeeper Dylan McCourt was rarely seriously tested due to the strong play in front of him by the Eagles defenders.

West Allegheny did possess the ball fairly well in the second half which led to opportunities by Kyle McCracken, Mike Cummings and Christian Aromando for the Indians, but none could find the net.

South Park, the #1 seed in the Boys AA tournament, outscored their opponents 15-1 in four playoff games to win the programs 3rd boys soccer title.

West Allegheny, the defending WPIAL AA champions and state runner-up, falls to (17-4-1) on the season and the Indians return to the state playoffs as the #2 qualifier from District 7. The Indians will face District 9 champion Bradford in the first round of the PIAA Playoffs. South Park heads to the state tournament as the top qualifier from the WPIAL and the Eagles (22-0) will square off against Quaker Valley in the PIAA first round.

The Quakers (12-8-2) lost to South Park in the WPIAL AA semifinals and qualify for the state playoffs as the #4 team from District 7. South Fayette, who was knocked out of the WPIAL tournament by South Park will also represent District 7 in the State Playoffs.


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