2019-2020 Game Summaries
North Allegheny junior forward Sarah Schupansky has been named all-state by the Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association. Schupanksy was one of 25 players from the WPIAL to receive all-state laurels. She also earned All-WPIAL and all-section recognition this past fall.
The University of Pittsburgh recruit was North Allegheny’s leading scorer for the 2019 season with 23 goals, including the first goal in NA’s 2-0 WPIAL championship win over Norwin. Additionally, Schupansky was a finalist for the prestigious Moe Rosensteel Most Outstanding Player Award.
With the help of Schupansky, the Tigers had their best season in program history. North Allegheny went 18-3-1 and earned its first undefeated section championship along with its first-ever WPIAL crown.
by Jonathan Spina
North Allegheny’s magical run came to an end Saturday afternoon in the PIAA Quarterfinals falling 3-2 to Boyertown in an overtime thriller.
North Allegheny had scoring chances early and often and eight minutes into the game was able to get on the board when Ava Ruppersberger put a shot on net, the shot hit off a Boyertown defender and into the net giving the Tigers the early 1-0. It was Ruppersberger second goal in as many games. Later in the half, the Bears of Boyertown were able to pick of two goals four minutes apart from Sandra Devlin and Sam Goffice, respectively. No more scoring came out of the half and the Tigers trailed 2-1.
The second half was complete domination by North Allegheny. They outshot the Bears 7-0 in the half thanks to great play from their back line, which consisted of Tulasi Syamala, Riley Miara, Alexa Spano and Natalie Mudd. These four stifled Boyertown at every turn in the second half, not letting anything get near keeper Madison Vukas. With the defense playing so well, the offense got going again and with 17:11 left in regulation Sarah Schupansky put a left-footed shot right outside the box into the top right corner tying the game 2-2. It was Schupansky’s 23rd goal on the season. Both teams had multiple chances down the stretch but ultimately nothing found the back of the net and we were headed to overtime.
Boyertown really picked the offensive pressure in the overtime period and got the game-winner from Goffice nine minutes into the first overtime period sending the Bears into the semifinal and winning 3-2.
Schupansky was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game. She had the equalizer and harassed Boyertown’s defense all afternoon with constent pressure along with Ruppersberger, Emma Bundy and Hannah Kirkpatrick.
The Tigers season ends at 18-3-1, but it was an historic year to say the least. North Allegheny won their first section title since 2015, went undefeated in the section for the first time in program history and won the program’s first ever WPIAL Championship. This was one of the best teams in NA girls soccer history and by far the most decorated one.
Girls Soccer Summary vs. Boyertown, 11-9-19
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||OT||FINAL|
Senior Ava Ruppersberger scored the game’s only goal with 5:01 remaining to help propel North Allegheny to a 1-0 victory over Cumberland Valley in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs on Tuesday night.
The contest at Offutt Field in Greensburg was a matchup between the WPIAL champion Tigers and the District 3 runner-up Eagles. Playing in the state playoffs for the second time in the last three seasons, North Allegheny controlled the pace of play throughout most of the first half. The Tigers generated numerous scoring chances but were turned away on series of defensive gems by Cumberland Valley. The final two chances of the half went to Emma Bundy, who worked her way past CV goalie Abby Miller with 4:30 on the clock but was stopped on a save by defenseman Carly Smith in front of the net. Moments later, a header by Bundy that seemed destined for the twine was stopped on a header by defenseman Ana Stoner to keep the game scoreless at the half.
North Allegheny’s possession time in the CV zone continued in the second half before the Eagles finally started to create some pressure of its own with 20 minutes to play. Senior Gina LuKoskie and junior Shea Collins sparked a 10-minute offensive surge for Cumberland Valley, creating some scoring chances from the left wing. However, North Allegheny’s back line of Alexa Spano and Natalie Mudd prevented the Eagles from cashing in. In particular, Cumberland Valley’s leading scorer, Emily Mashinski, a High Point University recruit, was held in check by the Tigers defense throughout.
After North Allegheny staved off the CV threat, the Tigers settled back into their offensive groove and struck for the game’s only goal. Bundy was able to feed Ruppersberger with a pass to the left and she buried a shot into the Cumberland Valley net to give North Allegheny a 1-0 lead with 5:01 remaining in the contest.
The Ruppersberger marker, her eighth of the season, proved the be enough as the Tigers claimed the one-goal victory and advanced to the PIAA quarterfinals.
With outstanding play in the midfield, and helping facilitate countless possessions into the CV zone, senior Sophia Spano was selected as the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
North Allegheny outshot Cumberland Valley, 13-4, and goalie Madison Vukas earned her ninth shutout of the season. The Tigers also led in corner kicks, 6-1.
Cumberland Valley, who was making its sixth appearance in the PIAA playoffs in the last seven years, has its season come to an end with a 17-3-2 record. North Allegheny improves to 18-2-1 with the win. The Tigers will face Boyertown in the PIAA quarterfinals on Saturday. Boyertown, the District 1 runner-up, defeated Nazareth on Tuesday night, 2-1.
Girls Soccer Summary vs. Cumberland Valley, 11-5-19
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||FINAL|
The North Allegheny girls’ soccer team won the first WPIAL title in program history on Thursday night with a 2-0 win over the Norwin Knights at Highmark Stadium. The victory continues a banner season for the Tigers which also saw them capture their first undefeated section crown along the way. North Allegheny will set its sights next on a state title beginning with the PIAA first round on Tuesday night.
Norwin, a perennial title contender, was appearing in the WPIAL championship game for the fourth time in the last five seasons. With a stiff wind at their backs, the experienced Knights were hoping to take advantage of their team speed with long passes ahead to University of Pittsburgh recruit, Katelyn Kaufmann. Norwin managed only a few highly-contested shots in the first half thanks to the play of the NA back line.
After a scoreless first half, the North Allegheny offense had its turn with the wind in the second half and displayed some of its own team speed. Providing persistent pressure in the opening minutes of the half, the Tigers broke through for an odd-man break and the game’s first goal. On a three-on-one, Ava Ruppersberger delivered a pass to Emma Bundy in the box, who deftly passed to her right where a wide-open Sarah Schupanksy buried a shot into the Norwin net for a 1-0 lead with 33:26 remaining in the second half. The goal was the 22nd of the season for the University of Pittsburgh recruit.
The Knights turned up the intensity level following the NA goal and kept the Tigers on the defensive. However, the efforts of Isabella Pietropola, Tulasi Syamala, Halle Marsalis, Riley Miara, Alexa Spano, Natalie Mudd and Sophia Spano thwarted every Norwin charge into Tigers territory. For their efforts, the entire North Allegheny defense and midfield was named the Wright Automotive Players of the Game.
As the Tigers continued to stave off the Knights, North Allegheny was able to provide some breathing room when Bundy, a Duquesne commit, played the ball into the attacking zone and sent a pass to her left where she found a streaking Hannah Kirkpatrick in front of the Norwin net. The University of Tampa commit pushed the ball passed the Norwin keeper for her fourth goal of the season and a 2-0 North Allegheny lead with 2:30 remaining.
After the Kirkpatrick goal, the waning minutes ticked off the clock and the Tigers gathered at midfield to celebrate the 2019 Class AAAA WPIAL championship. The shutout was the eighth of the season for NA goalie Madison Vukas.
North Allegheny improves to 17-2-1 on the season and will face the District 3 runner-up on Tuesday. Norwin slips to 18-2 overall and will face the winner of the subregional game between McDowell and Altoona.
Girls Soccer Summary vs. Norwin, 10-31-19
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||FINAL|
by Jonathan Spina
Senior Isabella Pietropola‘s goal in penalty kicks put North Allegheny over the top, giving the Tigers a 2-1 (4-2 PK) win against Peters Township in the WPIAL Semifinals. The Lady Tigers advanced to the WPIAL Class 4A Championship at Highmark Stadium.
Both teams played very well defensively in the first half. There were only six total shots on goal and one corner kick in the entire half. That one corner went to Peters Township and it looked like they were going to break the scoreless tie but defender Tulasi Syamala was able to head the shot attempt away from trouble keeping the game 0-0. The Indians got one final chance on a free kick from 29 yards out but that was also stopped by goalie Madison Vukas, keeping the game scoreless at the half.
North Allegheny came out very aggressive in the second half and it paid off when only three minutes in, Sarah Schupansky got a break away and was able to chip the ball over Peters Township keeper Emma Sawich and into the net. With 37 minutes to play the Lady Tigers had a 1-0 lead. Seven minutes later, Peters Township got a free kick from 20 yards out and Indians senior Hannah Stuck placed a shot beautifully into the top right corner to tie the game 1-1. The defense started to pick up again and 80 minutes wasn’t enough in this one as we were heading to OT.
Emma Bundy and Schupansky both had great opportunities in the overtime period but Sawich was up to the task keeping the game tied and it was time for penalty kicks.
Schupansky, Ava Ruppersburger, Halle Marsalis and Pietropola all scored in the penalty kick round and Vukas stopped two of the four shots she faced giving North Allegheny a 4-2 win in the penalty kick shootout to propel the Tigers to the WPIAL Championship.
Schupansky was the Wright Automotive Player of the Game with a goal in regulation and in penalty kicks and gave the Indians defense fits all night long.
Along with Schupansky, the NA defense and midfield played extremely well. Marsalis and senior Sophia Spano helped anchor the midfield and helped stave off the Indians.
The Tigers improve to 16-2-1 and will take on top-seeded Norwin at Highmark Stadium on Thursday at 6 p.m. That game can be found right here, on the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Girls Soccer Summary vs. Peters Twp., 10-28-19
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||OT||OT2||PK||FINAL|
|North Allegheny||0||1||0||0||4||1 (4)|
|Peters Twp.||0||0||0||0||2||1 (2)|