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2020-2021 Game Summaries

Tigers Fall To Unbeaten Knights In WPIAL Quarterfinals

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by Jared Barton

After a strong road start by North Allegheny, the Tigers gave up four straight goals to the Norwin Knights, eliminating NA from the playoffs with a 4-1 score.

In the first half, the Tiger offense broke a scoreless tie on a fastbreak into enemy territory. Senior Kensly Owens took a feed into the near corner and slid a quick pass from a sharp angle to fellow senior Will Stasko in the box, who headed the ball into the net past Norwin goalkeeper Andrew Yanez with 26 minutes remaining in the first for a 1-0 lead. Roughly six minutes later, the Knights took advantage of a handball committed by the Tigers in their own goal box following a corner kick. Junior striker Caleb Yuricha found the back of the net on a free kick less than ten yards from the goal line to make it a tie game, 1-1. With 11:36 remaining in the half, junior midfielder Riley Zimmerman gave Norwin a 2-1 lead, catching senior goalkeeper Mikkel Hindsbo a good distance out of the net as he tried to cut off Zimmerman’s move towards the goal.

The second half was all Knights, as Yuricha found twine once again with 34:45 remaining on a one-on-one opportunity into the offensive zone for a 3-1 lead. Norwin capped off the 4-1 win with a dribbling shot off the foot of senior Brendan Ash from 15 yards away that just snuck past senior goalkeeper Regan Racicot, who played the entire second half in net.

The Wright Automotive Player of the Game was awarded to senior Will Stasko for his efforts on the offensive side of play throughout the match.

The Knights stay undefeated on the season and advance to take on Seneca Valley in the 4A semifinals Wednesday night. Meanwhile the Tigers’ season comes to a close with a 13-4-1 overall record.

(Photo courtesy of Ed Thompson and Pittsburgh Soccer Now.)

Boys Soccer Summary vs. Norwin, 10-31-20

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Tigers Take Down Dragons In WPIAL First Round, 5-1

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For the second time in the span of a week, the North Allegheny boys’ soccer team defeated the Allderdice Dragons. On Tuesday night in the WPIAL Class AAAA first round, the sixth-seeded Tigers delivered a 5-1 victory against the 11th-seeded Dragons on the strength of another two-goal performance from senior Jonathan Swann. He did the same in last week’s 5-2 triumph in the regular season finale and once again earned Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

It was Swann’s first goal of the night, a coast-to-coast break through the Allderdice midfield and defense with 16:17 to play in the first half, that gave North Allegheny a 1-0 lead. The Tigers added on with 9:27 remaining in the half when Sean Moore drove a free kick into the box that Evan Anderson headed into the net for his team-leading 15th goal of the season and a 2-0 lead.

Late in the first half, Allderdice seemingly gained some momentum on a goal by Robert Phelps just 47 seconds before intermission to trim the Dragons deficit to 2-1 going into the break.

The Allderdice momentum was short-lived, however, as the Tigers stormed out of the gates 1:19 into the second half on Swann’s second goal of the night for a 3-1 advantage. From that point on, North Allegheny had decided control of the game and tacked on two more goals to cap the win. With 13:02 remaining, sophomore Ben Christian scored his first career varsity goal for a 4-1 lead. Senior Kensly Owens finished off the victory with a marker, his 14th of the year, with 7:28 to play to bring the final score to 5-1, Tigers.

Tuesday night’s game marked the seventh meeting between the two teams since Allderdice joined the WPIAL for boys’ soccer in 2012. In all seven contests, the Tigers have come away victorious, including another WPIAL opening round win in 2014.

The win improves North Allegheny’s record to 13-3-1 on the season, while Allderdice ends the year with a 5-6-1 record. The Tigers advance to the WPIAL Class AAAA quarterfinals with a visit to Norwin to face the third-seeded Knights on Saturday at noon. The game will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Boys Soccer Summary vs. Allderdice, 10-27-20

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NA Tops Allderdice, 5-2, In Regular Season Finale

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It was a playoff preview at Newman Stadium on Wednesday night as the North Allegheny boys’ soccer team faced off against its future opponent in the WPIAL first round, the Allderdice Dragons. Thanks in part to a two-goal performance from senior Jonathan Swann, the Tigers defeated the Dragons in the regular season finale, 5-2.

In the first half, Allderdice stunned NA when senior Luqman Sabree muscled his way down the right side for an open shot and a goal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead. The Dragons lead could’ve been larger if not for a great diving save by NA goalie Regan Racicot to deny Milo Larson.

With 11:34 remaining in the first half, North Allegheny junior Evan Anderson scored his team-leading 14th goal of the season and the game was tied, 1-1. Just over four minutes later, senior David Lessure netted his fourth goal of the year to propel the Tigers in front, 2-1.

The Tigers expanded the lead to 3-1 with 20:16 to play in the second half when Swann broke loose for a breakaway and beat Allderdice goalie Adrian Solano for a goal. North Allegheny controlled the pace of play for most of the second half but Allderdice’s leading scorer, Robert Phelps, was able to create some space in the NA box for a goal and the Tigers lead was cut to 3-2 with 8:53 remaining.

With Allderdice seemingly back in the game, North Allegheny answered back with 6:20 on the clock when sophomore Ben Christian came through for a steal and pass in front that was redirected into the net by Swann for his second goal of the night and a 4-2 lead. For his two-goal outing, Swann was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

The Tigers capped the scoring with 2:32 left as Christian sent a long pass to senior Will Stasko who streaked past the Dragons defense and tapped a shot past Solano to bring the final score to 5-2, North Allegheny.

With the win, North Allegheny concludes the regular season with a 12-3-1 record. Allderdice dips to 5-5-1 on the year. The Tigers and Dragons will faceoff again on Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m. in the first round of the WPIAL playoffs. The game will be broadcast live via the internet on the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Boys Soccer Summary vs. Allderdice, 10-21-20

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NA Edged By Fox Chapel In Section Finale, 2-1

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North Allegheny traveled to Fox Chapel on Monday night to take on the Foxes for their second matchup of the season.  NA won at home by a 3-0 score.  With second place in the conference on the line, the Tigers were looking to sweep the season series.

The first opportunity for either side came six minutes in when the Foxes made a nice run down the right side and centered, but their shot went wide left of the goal.  NA got their first offensive opportunity twelve minutes in with great team passing, that lead to a Jonathan Swann cross that was just out of the reach of a streaking NA forward.  Then, with nineteen minutes left in the half, William Stasko centered a ball to Evan Anderson, who got a shot on goal but it was saved by Fox Chapel. The next scoring opportunity came from Fox Chapel, diving save by Mikkel Hindsbo kept the game scoreless.  Hindsbo made two more great saves with just over a minute left in the half.  Then, with fifteen seconds left in the half, a foul was called on NA in the goal box.  Fox Chapel converted on the penalty kick and the half ended with Fox Chapel leading 1-0.

The second half started strong for NA.  Four minutes into the half, Brandon Marzula played a long ball that Stasko ran down.  With the Fox Chapel goalkeeper closing on the ball, Stasko was able to get a pass across to an open Anderson, who easily converted the game tying goal.

Fox Chapel fought right back to try to get the equalizer, but a shot by a Fox Chapel forward hit the left upright, so the game remained tied 1-1.  Fox Chapel was then awarded a free kick that was put on goal, but a nice punch out by Reagan Racicot thwarted the attempt.  He also made a great save on a corner with eighteen minutes left.   The North Allegheny defense of Max Kress, Jacob Gardner, Swann and Owen Smith were playing tough and not allowing Fox Chapel to take the lead.  But, with the ball bouncing Fox Chapel’s way, NA couldn’t get the momentum back. With just under eleven minutes left in the game, Fox Chapel was awarded a free kick that lead to their second goal.  The game ended with Fox Chapel defeating the Tigers by a score of 2-1.

North Allegheny falls to 11-3-1 overall and completes the Section 1-AAAA schedule with an 8-3-1 record. The Tigers next play on Wednesday night against Taylor Allderdice in the regular season finale.

Boys Soccer Summary vs. Fox Chapel, 10-19-20

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Tigers Blank Panthers, 1-0

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By Bob Orkwis

In a rematch of last season’s 1st round playoff match up, North Allegheny posted its second straight shutout and 10th of the season beating the Upper St, Clair Panthers 1-0 in a non-section game at Newman Stadium.

The Panthers, who knocked the Tigers out of the post season last year with a 2-0 win, started the match strong in the first ten minutes. Their best opportunity came of the foot of senior forward Jack Myers who missed the far post on a free kick opportunity. After the early surge, North Allegheny turned the tide with relentless possession. Senior forward Kensly Owens was denied at the near post by Panthers goalkeeper Dev Patel in the 17th minute. Junior forward Evan Anderson had two good opportunities back to back. The first, in the 18th minute saw the Panthers defense clear away an attempted centering pass. Then Patel denied Anderson in the 23rd minute and the junior stopped a pair of Tigers attempts in the 24th minute. Despite the territorial advantage for North Allegheny, the game was scoreless at the half.

The pattern remained the same in the second half with the Tigers dominating the ball. Senior forward Evan Cole, who was active in the first half on offense, nearly scored the game’s first goal in the 44th minute when he took a cross from Anderson, but his shot hit the crossbar and the game remained 0-0. The Tigers finally broke the ice in the 53rd minute of play off a corner kick. Junior Brandon Marzula’s cross was settled at the far post by Sean Moore, who the deposited the ball into the far side of the net for the 1-0 lead. The goal was the senior’s 5th of the season.

Will Stasko had a golden opportunity to pad the lead in the 75th minute, but his shot was denied in close. The best scoring chance for the Panthers came for sophomore Andrew Popp. Popp nearly chased down a long through ball on the left side, but goalkeeper Mikkel Hindsbo made an extremely aggressive sliding save to deny the opportunity and preserve the shutout. Hindsbo, who replaced Regan Racicot to start the second half, made two saves. Racicot made one save in the game’s first forty minutes as the seniors shared the shutout victory for the Tigers.

By netting the game’s only goal, Moore was chosen as the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

Upper St. Clair dropped to (7-5-1) on the season with the loss. The win, North Allegheny’s second straight and 8th in nine games, improved the Tigers record to (11-2-1).

Both Upper St. Clair and North Allegheny have qualified for the 2020 WPIAL playoffs. The Tigers finish their regular season with a non-section home match against Allderdice on Wednsday.