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Girls' Soccer Game Summaries

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2017-2018 Game Summaries

Cinderella run ends for Lady Tigers In PIAA Quarterfinals

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by Jonathan Spina

The third time wasn’t a charm in the PIAA Class AAAA quarterfinals for North Allegheny on Saturday as the Lady Tigers lost 4-0 to Norwin, their third loss of the season to the Knights.

The first five minutes were dominated by Norwin but in the sixth minute North Allegheny got a huge scoring chance when Emma Bundy beat Norwin keeper Samantha Wexell with a move and put a shot on net but Norwin defender Natalie Durmis made a great effort play to get behind her keeper and keep the ball out of the net and the score was still 0-0.

Norwin had a scoring chance with 15:07 left in the half when All-American forward Emily Harrigan put a shot on goal but Lady Tigers keeper Olivia Ruppersburger was able to make the stop and keep the game tied.

The last chance of the first half came with two minutes remaining when Morgan Anderson received a feed from Alex Adams and put a left-footed shot on net from about 10 yards out but the attempt was denied by Wexell and the game remained 0-0 going into the half.

Norwin wasted no time getting on the board in the second half as Katherine Ericson crossed the ball into the box and the cross was deflected by a Lady Tiger and into the net and Norwin took the 1-0 lead.

After a couple of North Allegheny chances, Harrigan proved why she was an All-American scoring two goals in a five minute span and just like that Norwin jumped out to a 3-0 lead with 22 minutes left in the game. The game was all Norwin from that point on as Alyssa Victor added one more goal with 1:40 left in the game and the Knights finished off the Lady Tigers’ season, winning 4-0.

Norwin improves to 19-2 and advances to the PIAA Semifinals to play the winner of Spring-Ford and Conestoga Valley on Tuesday at a site and time to be determined. North Allegheny finishes its season with a 14-8-1 record. The seniors finish their careers with a 41-31-3, three WPIAL postseason appearances, a WPIAL semifinal appearance and a PIAA quarterfinal appearance.

Girls Soccer Summary vs. Norwin, 11-11-17

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Two Goals By Alex Adams Vaults NA To PIAA First Round Upset

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Junior Alex Adams scored two goals to help propel the North Allegheny Tigers to a 2-0 triumph over the Penn-Trafford Warriors in the first round of the PIAA playoffs on Tuesday night at Fox Chapel High School. The Tigers were making their first appearance in the state playoffs since 2011 and stunned the WPIAL champion Warriors to advance to the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday.

Tuesday night’s game between North Allegheny and Penn-Trafford marked the first playoff meeting between the two teams since a WPIAL first round contest in 2014. The Warriors won that game by a 3-2 decision courtesy of an overtime goal by Casey Aunkst to spoil an NA upset bid.

With the Tigers again playing the role of playoff underdogs to the Warriors, North Allegheny came out strong and took a 1-0 lead on a great individual effort and goal by Adams with 13:26 remaining in the first half.

West Virginia University recruit Mackenzie Aunkst, Casey’s younger sister, nearly tied the game for PT with 10:12 to go in the half but her shot from the right wing hit the crossbar and the score remained, 1-0, Tigers.

North Allegheny sophomore Emma Bundy, a Duquesne University recruit, almost gave the Tigers a two-goal lead going into halftime but she was denied a sparkling save by Penn-Trafford sophomore goalie Megan Giesey.

In the second half, the Tigers continued to press in the first 10 minutes and produced strong scoring chances from Bundy and sophomore midfielder Sophia Spano. While Giesey stopped those NA scoring opportunities, she couldn’t deny a shot by Adams with 26:13 remaining and the Tigers lead swelled to 2-0. For her efforts, Adams was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

Penn-Trafford didn’t go down without a fight but the play of the NA defense thwarted the WPIAL champions and the Tigers earned a 2-0 victory to advance to the PIAA quarterfinals to face the Norwin Knights. Senior goalies Olivia Ruppersberger and Julia Correa combined for the shutout.

North Allegheny improves to 14-7-1 on the season and will play Norwin on Saturday at a site and time to be determined. Penn-Trafford’s season comes to a close with a 17-4-1 record.

Girls Soccer Summary vs. Penn-Trafford, 11-7-17

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Lady Tigers Advance To PIAA Playoffs With Win Over USC

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By Lee Mohn

The North Allegheny Tigers defeated the Upper St. Clair Panthers on Wednesday night, 3-0, on a rainy and foggy night at West Allegheny in the WPIAL Class AAA third-place consolation game.

The Tigers started quick scoring 38 seconds into the game.  Ava Ruppersberger knocked in a loose ball after goalie Jill Rocco came out to make a save and could not hang on to the initial shot from Alex Adams and the Tigers led 1-0.  Olivia Ruppersberger had a couple of key stops midway through the first half and defensively Natalie Mudd, Jetta Kroll and Caroline Wood prevented the Panthers from good scoring chances. North Allegheny made the score 2-0 in the 31st minute when Adams would beat the goalie from 20 yards out from the right side.

Julia Corrrea started in goal in the second half and stopped Jane Madson in the seventh minute from close range.  The Tigers had a very good opportunity in the 13th minute when Adams was tripped just outside the box but the Tigers could not convert on the free kick. Ava Ruppersberger scored her second goal of the game on a penalty kick in the 22nd minute to increase the lead to 3-0.  Correa continued her strong play as the Panthers pressured but the defense continued to shine.

Nicky Gibbons broke the shutout with three minutes to go but it was too little, too late for USC and the Tigers would claim the victory.

With the win, North Allegheny qualified for the PIAA tournament as the No. 3 team in Class AAA and will face either Norwin or Penn Trafford on Tuesday night at a site and time to be determined.  Ava Ruppersberger was named the Wright Automotive player of the game for her performance.

Girls Soccer Summary vs. Upper St. Clair, 11-1-17

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Two-Time Defending Champion Norwin Too Much For Tigers In Semifinal Defeat

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Entering the Class 4A girls’ soccer semifinals, North Allegheny was riding high after its 2-0 quarterfinal win against top-seed and section rival, Pine-Richland. They also knew that even though they were the No. 4 seed, Wednesday’s semifinal match at Fox Chapel will be their toughest test of the playoffs.

That proved to be the case as the Knights scored the game-winning goal 1:45 into the game en route to their 2-0 win, advancing to their third straight WPIAL Championship.

Norwin’s fast start was led by senior Emily Harrigan. The Rutgers University recruit showcased her Division I talent, floating a perfectly placed ball from 35 yards out over the outstretched arm of TIgers’ goalkeeper Olivia Ruppersberger for the 1-0 lead. Harrigan had 85 career goals entering the playoffs.

Facing their first deficit of the 2017 WPIAL playoffs, the Tigers responded well by controlling the tempo for the remainder of the first half. Although they were able to pepper Norwin goalie Sam Wexell with shots, none posed as serious threats to get past the all-section goalie.

North Allegheny went into the half feeling good about themselves, trailing the No. 40 ranked team in the country by Top Drawer Soccer by one goal.

The Knights showed why they earned that ranking by coming out storming in the second half. Harrigan was in the middle of it again, as she hustled to North Allegheny’s endline, floated a pass towards the middle of the box, and found Katherine Erickson’s foot that found the back of the net for the 2-0 lead. Senior Julia Correa allowed the goal, who switched with Ruppersberger at goalie during halftime. It is a tactic used by head coach Chuck Kelley all season.

The Tigers couldn’t find any openings in the Norwin defense, allowing Wexell, the Ohio University commit, to record her 49th shutout of the season. It was also her second shutout in four games against the Tigers.

A year after missing the playoffs, the Tigers surprised many by making it to the semifinals. A lot of the turnaround dealt with the leadership of the seniors. For that, the senior group was awarded the Wright Automotive Players of the Game.

The loss did not end the Tigers season, as they will play Upper St. Clair on Wednesday in the consolation game at a site and time to be determined for a spot in the PIAA playoffs. The Tigers defeated the Panthers 2-0 in the regular season.

Girls Soccer Summary vs. Norwin, 10-30-17

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NA Stuns Top-Seed Pine-Richland In WPIAL Quarterfinals, 2-0

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By Jonathan Spina

The third time was the charm for the North Allegheny girls’ soccer team on Thursday night as the Lady Tigers upended the top-seeded Pine-Richland Rams in the WPIAL quarterfinals, 2-0. The Rams were the Section 1-AAAA champions and went undefeated through section play, including a win and tie against North Allegheny along the way. However, in the WPIAL quarterfinals, the upstart Tigers knocked off their neighborhood rivals to advance to the WPIAL semifinals next week.

North Allegheny came out electric as they dominated the first 10 minutes of the game but was not able to get a shot past Pine-Richland’s freshman phenom in goal, Katharine Kelly. In the 12th minute, North Allegheny finally broke through when Ava Ruppersberger sent a great feed into the box onto Alex Adams’ foot and she buried it into the left corner to give North Allegheny a 1-0 lead with 28:41 left in the first half.

The next 10 minutes were dominated by Pine-Richland and climaxed when their leading scorer Megan Donnelly found some space in the box but was denied by first half goal keeper Olivia Ruppersberger. Things started to calm down but as time was running out in the first half the Lady Tigers tried to get one more rush and maybe put a dagger in Pine-Richland when Adams beat the defender and went 1-on-1 with Lady Rams goal keeper but Kelly got the better of Adams this time and at the half North Allegheny led 1-0 with a very impressive first half.

People weren’t even able to get into their seats for the second half before North Allegheny was already putting the pressure on Pine-Richland again as the Lady Rams lost track of forward Morgan Anderson as she uncorked a left-footed shot from about 25 yards out. The shot was saved by Kelly but she left a juicy rebound and Adams was there to clean up the trash and put it in the back of the net for her 13th of the year and 30 seconds into the second half North Allegheny led 2-0. Six minutes later, it looked like Adams had gotten her third goal of the game when she beat goal keeper Kelly but the ball rang off the crossbar and the score remained 2-0. Adams was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game with her two goals to lead the Tigers.

Pine-Richland had a huge chance with 27:15 left in the game when Donnelly set up Allie Malobicky with a prime chance from five yards out with no defense in sight but second half goalie Julia Correa stayed calm and held her ground. Malobicky ended up shooting the high and the shutout remained intact. With Pine-Richland getting desperate and the clock ticking on their season, the Rams continued to push defenders forward but the defensive line of Caroline Wood, Hannah Kirkpatrick, Jetta Kroll and Natalie Mudd didn’t crack.

North Allegheny improves to 12-6-1 while Pine-Richland’s season ends with a 16-2-1 record. The Lady Tigers will be back in action on Monday against the No. 4 seed Norwin Knights who won their quarterfinal game against Kiski, 3-1. At one point, Norwin was ranked the top team in the country by Top Drawer Soccer. They now are now ranked 40th in the nation. The WPIAL semifinal contest between the Tigers and Knights will be broadcasted here on the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Girls Soccer Summary vs. Norwin, 10-30-17

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