NORTH ALLEGHENY VARSITY
MIDDLE SCHOOL GOLD UPDATE
By: Greg Tobias
SECOND HALF UPDATE
Game by Game Summary of the Second Half:
The team traveled to Butler on Monday, Oct. 19 for a tilt with Butler Middle
at the downtown field. About the 15 minute mark of the first half a ball was
sent from the mid field to Nick McClure. Nick was fouled just outside the
penalty box. Miko Reginella took the direct kick, which sailed just wide
right. Shortly thereafter, Nick was the recipient of a throw-in from the
left side. He beat the defense an put a ball past the goalie to the right
side for a 1-0 score. Towards the end of the first half, a throw-in on the
left was received by Peter Tobias. Pete made a touch pass to Patrick Spoule.
Pat took a shot which was blocked but it rebounded back to Pat. Pat put the
rebound into the top right corner for the half time margin of 2-0. Early in
the second half, Miko won a corner kick on the right side. Miko sent a high
serve which Pat headed into the left corner to make the score 3-0. The
scoring ended midway through the second half when Miko sent a pass to Nick
who put a shot from 15 yards into the left corner for a final score
of NA - 4, Butler - 0.
On Wed., Oct 21, Mars made their visit to NA at the McKnight Field.
Mars had handed NA one of their two ties earlier in the season. NA was
intent on correcting their offensive problems from the first meeting. The
game started off slowly, but about 2/3 through the first half, Alex Dorazio
took a right corner which sailed long to the left front of the goal, where
it was picked up by Pete. Pete attempted 3 strikes on the ball, all of which
were blocked; however, his fourth attempt found its way to Nick. Nick's shot
was mishandled by the goalie and Nick finished the rebound for a 1-0 tally.
Near the end of the half, a throw-in to Pat resulted in a controlled dribble
through the defense for an unassisted goal to the left corner to make the
score 2-0 at half time. At the start of the second half, Andy Mahler cleared
the ball from the defensive zone to Pete. Pete who made a one touch to Nick.
Nick buried a left-footed shot to the top left corner to widen the margin to
3-0. Another defensive clear from Dan Madler to Miko ensued. Miko took
a strong shot which caromed off the defender to Ryan Sproule in front of the
goal. Ryan beat the goalie low left to extend the score to 4-0. Finally, Tom
Naughton headed the ball to Miko, who buried the ball in the high right
center of the net for a final score of NA - 5, Mars - 0.
The weather on Friday, Oct 23 was miserable for the Fox Chapel tilt at the
McKnight field. The weather deteriorated during the game and the second half
was played in driving rain and wind. Both team were evenly matched and both
goalies made a number of key saves. The game was decided on a corner kick in
the first half which eluded the NA defense for the only loss of the season.
The final score was Fox Chapel - 1, NA - 0.
Fresh off their disappointment of the previous Friday, NA traveled to Seneca
Valley on Monday, Oct 26 for a game at Graham Park. Seneca provided a
stern test in the first half. Although NA carried most of the play, SV's
defense was stout and no goals were scored. Eager to avoid their 3rd tie, NA
was determined in the second half. Patrick initiated a throw-in on the right
to Aodhan Ridenour in the middle. Aodhan sent a cross to the left front of
the net which Nick finished off with a header to the low left corner to
break the ice at 1-0. Some intense pressure on the SV goalie ensued on
separate plays from Alex, Pete, and Nick; but the SV defense refused to
yield. Finally at the 3/4 mark of the second half, Nick initiated a corner
kick, which rebounded back to Nick. Nick moved the ball to Andrew Earle at
the right top of
the box. Andrew sent a beautiful kick to the top left corner to make the
final score: NA - 2, SV - 0.
North Hills visited NA at the McKnight field on Wed., Oct 28. Unlike the
2-0, hard fought win at North Hills. NA scored early and often. Pete
initiated the play with a pass to Nick early in the game. Nick made two good
fakes and scored to the low right corner. Nick then served the ball to
Duncan Riding who headed the ball into the right side of the net. Nick then
initiated a throw-in from the left to Pat. Pat split the defense and beat
the goalie short side to finish the first half scoring with NA leading 3-0.
The offense actually intensified in the second half. Nick received a
throw-in from the left and beat the defense. He made an unselfish cross to a
crashing Tom who finished the lead. Shortly thereafter, Nick received a
cross from Duncan. Nick put a touch on the cross to the low right corner to
make the score 5-0. This same duo got together again for goal number 6 when
Nick again. Nick beat the defenders and scored to the right corner.
Duncan and Nick were on fire with 1 goal, 2 assists, and a hat trick and two
assists from Nick. The scoring was completed when Aodhan to Ryan at 25
yards. Ryan took the long shot which beat the goalie high right for the
final score: NA - 7, North Hills - 0.
NA finished their season by visiting Knoch at the Knoch High School field on
Thursday, Oct 29. At the 10 minute mark, Drew Ruffalo found Dan in front of
the net. Dan beat the goalie to register a goal for the season. Next it was
Zach Nimmo's turn to enjoy some time on the offense. A cross from the left
was stopped by the defender, but the ball moved out to the 18 where Zach
picked it up. He finished the play with a score to the right corner. With
the score 2-0, Coach Kaylor moved both Andy Mahler and Will Naughton to the
front line. Both had some nice scoring opportunities, but they were just off
the net. The first half ended 3-0 for NA when Andrew received a defensive
the right. Andrew moved the ball to Miko who scored to the left corner from
the 18. The second half settled in and Knoch was determined to relinquish no
more goals; however, midway through the second half, Ryan scored from the
right side extended on a nice feed from brother Pat. Although there
were a lot of offensive rushes after this score, this proved to be the final
tally: NA - 4, Knoch - 0.
FIRST HALF UPDATE
The 8th Grade Gold team sports an impressive 8-0-2 record after 10 games,
with two games cancelled. Unfortunately, one of the
cancellations was against Kiski Area on Soccer Fest Saturday. Kiski was one
of our ties and the boys were looking forward to the rematch on Newman
Although the majority of this report will deal with the offense and
scoring opportunities, it has to be noted that none of this season's
success to date would have been possible without the impeccable play of the
defense. The barometer of this play is the fact that opposing teams,
specifically Kiski Area, have breached the NA goal 1 time in our ten games.
The defense is led by our two quarterbacks, Zach Nimmo and Andrew Earle.
They coordinate the movement in front of goalie Shawn Baird with outside
fullbacks Andy Mahler, Drew Ruffalo, and Dan Madler. With this backline
corps along with the strong center midfield play of Pat and Ryan Sproule,
Duncan Riding, and Aodhan Ridenour there have been games when Shawn has not
had a serious save opportunity.
Outside midfield play has been controlled by Alex Dorazio and Miko Reginella
on the right and Peter Tobias on the left. They work the entire field to
insure the outside defense is secure and to initiate the offensive sets to
strikers Nick McClure, Miko, Alex and Tom and Will Naughton.
The team started with games against Penn Hills and Gateway, which both
resulted in offensive explosions of 5-0 an 7-0 respectively. Goals were
scored Alex (1), Pat (2), Ryan (4), Miko (3), Aodhan (1), and Peter (1).
Assists were earned by Aodhan (3), Alex (1), Tom (1), and Miko (3).
The team had its first test against Kiski Area at Kiski on Sept 18.
Kiski jumped out to a quick goal early in the first half to take a 1-0 lead,
which again is the only goal scored this season by our opponents. Although
NA controlled the defensive and midfield play, there were few good scoring
chances available. At the midpoint of the second half Miko got free for a
good shot which rebounded to the left front. Pete was there to bang in the
rebound to make the final score 1-1. Kiski's middle school team has not been
beaten in 4 years nor tied in 2. This was quite an accomplishment for our
Next up was Pine Richland at Pine Park on Sept 23. Again the good offensive
chances were few in this game. A few good scoring chances were missed in
both halves. Finally, late in the second half Alex sent a cross from the
right side to Aodhan who beat the goalie for the final tally of 1-0.
Montour visited NA on Sept 25. Midfield and defensive play dominated the
first half. At the 48 minute mark in the second half Alex sent a cross from
the right to Aodhan who picked up the ball on the left post. Aodhan moved
the ball back to Pat who buried a shot to the right corner to make the score
1-0. Later in the second half, Andrew moved the ball from the defense up to
Ryan, who headed the ball to Drew. Drew made a nice run on goal an finished
his run with a nice goal to the left corner for the final score of 2-0.
On Sept 29, Gateway made their second appearance against NA. Unlike the
first game, the play was more intense from the visitors. It appeared the
half would end scoreless when Duncan made a cross from the middle to Drew.
Drew moved the ball back to the right post, where Alex put the ball away for
a 1-0 NA margin at halftime. When the teams switched goals at half, NA was
with the wind in the second half which seemed to invigorate the boys. Alex
started things off by taking a corner kick, which deflected off the goalie.
Tom was there to put the ball away on a
header for a 2-0 tally. Shortly thereafter, Aodhan sent a through ball to a
streaking Peter on the left wing. Pete made a quick run a buried a hooking
shot into the left corner to make the score 3-0. The scoring was concluded
by Tom moving the ball to Duncan open in the middle. Duncan make a nice shot
to the low left corner for a final score of 4-0.
NA then traveled to Mars for a turf game on the Mars field on Oct 1.
NA controlled the play like they had done all season, but the goal seemed
locked on this afternoon. For one of the few times this season, Mars got a
breakaway which Shawn shut down with a wonderful attacking, sliding save
near the 18. Alex sent a nice cross to Pete near the end of the first half.
Pete got all of the header, but in bounced innocently off the crossbar. The
second half saw more excellent scoring chances, but none better than with
less than 1 minute remaining. Drew got a high, hooking shot from the 20 off.
It careened squarely off the crossbar and fell in front of the net to Nick,
who was just returning from an early season injury. Nick was unable to put
the rebound away
and the final score read 0-0. Mars is due to visit NA on Oct 21.
Hopefully, the goals will not be quite so stingy to achieve on the
The rains postponed the Gold team's next game vs. Seneca Valley on Oct 2.
Our next opponent was North Hills on Oct 5 at Marsico Field on Reis Run Rd.
Like some of the other recent games, the scoring was hard to come by in the
first half. Again, NA dominated the defensive and midfield play, but the
half ended scoreless. Midway through the second half a determined NA squad
broke the ice when Alex moved a ball to Pat in the middle. Pat let loose
with a glorious left foot from the center that easily beat the goalie for a
1-0 advantage. Shortly thereafter, Andy initiated a scoring play with a
throw-in from the left to Pete.
Pete made a move, beat the defender down the left and crossed the ball into
Alex who put his cross away for a 2-0 margin. At the 28 minute mark, North
Hills was awarded an indirect kick. After a touch, a booming shot was
stopped cold by Shawn to preserve the 2-0 NA victory.
Butler visited NA on Oct 9 for our first of a home and home match. Play was
again tight in the first half until a ball was served into Duncan from the
right midfield. Duncan made a touch pass to Nick for a quick left footed
shot past the goalie for a 1-0 tally. Early in the second half, Miko served
a ball into the center. The contested ball wound up bouncing to the left
wing where Pete picked it up and moved it back in to Nick, who put the serve
away for his second goal of the game making the score 2-0 in favor of NA.
The scoring was concluded when Drew sent a cross into the front of the goal.
The defender cleared the ball into the center where Andrew, pinching from
the defensive midfield position,
picked up the ball and sent a hard shot into the low left corner. The final
score: NA 3, Butler 0.
On Oct 10, NA was to have its rematch with Kiski Area, but the game was
unfortunately cancelled; therefore, the final game of this first half of the
season recap occurred on Oct 12. Pine Richland visited NA for our home and
home rematch. Following a familiar pattern, scoring was hard to achieve in
the first half; however, Ryan sent a ball from the defensive end to Nick.
Nick made a nice move to beat the defender and put a hard shot into the left
corner to break the ice for a 1-0 NA score. Pine had a good scoring chance
later in the half when a defender broke free, but Andrew ran him down
causing a weak shot to be easily
saved by Shawn. At the start of the second half, NA had a corner kick which
was moved by the defense out to center. It was picked up by Pat, who made a
nice high shot from the 20 which the goalie bobbled. Nick was there to put
in the rebound for a 2-0 NA advantage. This game was the most hotly
contested game by our opponents for midfield superiority. Pine earned a
corner to the left of Shawn. With the game still in doubt, Pine served a
beautiful corner into the center. The Pine striker sent a hard shot to the
low left of Shawn. With Shawn fully extended near the goal line, he stuck
out his left arm and made the 'save of the
season'. The ball caromed to the front of the goal. Andy moved it out of
danger for the Tigers. The game then returned to NA's control. Nick won a
ball at midfield and sent a though ball to Ryan. Ryan beat a charging goalie
to the ball and a collision ensued. The ball bounced off the goalie and
towards the net. Ryan, still on his feet, finished off the scoring chance to
make the final 3-0.
At this point, the NA Gold team has 7 games remaining, with two key matchups
vs. Fox Chapel, the first of which is Friday, Oct 16 at Dorseyville.
Way to go Tigers!
Any questions or comments
should be directed to Athletic
Director Bob Bozzuto at: