Tigers Edged By Blue Devils In Section Opener, 2-1

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In a battle of perennial playoff contenders out of Section 1-AAA, the North Allegheny field hockey team fell by a narrow 2-1 decision to the Mt. Lebanon Blue Devils on Thursday night at Newman Stadium. The outcome snapped a six-game winning streak for the Tigers in their head-to-head series with the Blue Devils.

Entering the game, the Blue Devils had not scored on the Tigers in four consecutive games; over 240 straight minutes. The streak ended quickly when junior Addison Evan, an All-WPIAL selection from a season ago, scored from just inside the top of the circle on a penalty corner to give Mt. Lebanon a 1-0 lead with 9:53 remaining in the first quarter.

Mt. Lebanon capitalized on another penalty corner opportunity with 4:41 to play in the second quarter when Reese Hughes found the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.

Following a timeout out by North Allegheny head coach Michelle Kessler, the Tigers responded and scored a little over two minutes later. With 2:05 remaining in the half, senior Isla Abrams sent a pass into the circle to senior Sophie Grafton, who scored her first goal of the season to trim the deficit to 2-1. The late goal energized North Allegheny heading into halftime.

In the third quarter, Mt. Lebanon had the better of the possession time but it was North Allegheny who had the best chance to score in the final minute of the stanza. However, Mt. Lebanon sophomore goalie Olivia Marcovitz made several critical stops to keep the Blue Devils’ one-goal lead intact.

Despite manufacturing only two penalty corners in the first half, the Tigers earned a flurry of corners in the fourth quarter. With four consecutive corners midway through the period, once again Marcovitz, who finished with five saves, kept NA off the scoreboard and Mt. Lebanon prevailed, 2-1.

Also impressive in net was North Allegheny junior goalie Kayla Joyce, who made 12 saves on the night, several of the spectacular variety. For her efforts, Joyce was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

North Allegheny slips to 1-2 overall and 0-1 in Section 1-AAA following the loss. The Tigers will visit Peters Township on Wednesday in a rematch of last year’s WPIAL semifinals.

Field Hockey Summary vs. Mt. Lebanon, 8-31-23

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