Cardiac Cats Win In Double OT To Capture Share Of Section Title
On senior night, North Allegheny senior Gabby Smychynsky fittingly scored the game winning goal in double overtime to propel the Lady Tigers to a 1-0 win over the North Hills Indians on Wednesday night. The win, NA’s fourth in overtime this season, earned the Tigers a share of the Section 2-AAA crown for the second time in the last three years.
Entering last night’s contest the Tigers had won 12 consecutive games against North Hills and had already locked up a playoff berth. While North Hills has never reached the WPIAL playoffs in girls’ soccer, the Indians did their best to throw a wrench into the Tigers’ section title plans.
North Allegheny controlled the pace for the vast majority of the game and outshot the Indians, 13-4. However, thanks to the play of goalie Allison Traynor and defenseman Samantha DeFrancesco, the Indians managed to hold off the high-powered Tigers throughout regulation.
In the first overtime, senior Marina Thornton had a chance early but missed wide with her shot on net. Shortly thereafter, North Allegheny had its 15th corner kick of the match and senior Morgan Treser, who played a terrific game defensively, headed the ball wide as the contest stayed scoreless. Freshman Alex Adams drove a hard shot from 12 yards out but Traynor stopped the line drive, sending the game to a second overtime.
Needing a win, not a tie, to clinch a share of the section title, North Allegheny finally drove home the game winner in the 2nd minute of double OT when Hannah Anderson found Smychynksy who caromed a shot off the left post and into the net for a 1-0 Tigers victory. For scoring the game winning goal, Smychynsky was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
In net, junior goalie Cara Schwartz posted her seventh shutout of the season. North Allegheny led North Hills in corner kicks, 15-1.
The win improves North Allegheny to 12-2-1 overall and 10-2 in Section 2-AAA. The Tigers are unbeaten in their last 10 games. North Hills slips to 3-10-2 overall and 2-8-1 in section play. Fifth-ranked North Allegheny hosts top-ranked Canon-McMillan on Monday at 5:30 pm.