2023-2024 Game Summaries
By: Jared Barton
Two corner kicks turned out to be the difference as the North Allegheny Girls Soccer team’s season came to a close in the PIAA Semifinals following a 2-0 decision against Conestoga at Chambersburg High School.
The game was back and forth in the first half with no major chances on either side. Each team finished with five fouls apiece, while NA had one corner kick opportunity.
Things heated up in the second frame with North Allegheny putting on pressure early. Sophomore Emma Schupansky placed a cross to senior Abigail Stager inside the box. Stager was able to send a ball towards fellow senior Ally Ruiz, but her header missed the mark, and the game remained scoreless in the opening minute of the second half. With 27 minutes left in the game, senior Libby Earley sent a shot off the crossbar from a free kick. Freshman Kieran Shannon connected a cross to Stager in the box, but her header was wide right with 24 minutes remaining.
Conestoga took the edge on a corner kick when the Pioneers threw four attempts at the net within close range and sophomore Kate Kemmerley found the back of the net. Senior goalkeeper Natalie Rak made a diving save on Conestoga senior Kiera Kemmerley, but the ball went over the end line, setting up another Pioneer corner kick. Off that attempt, Isabelle Allred scored the insurance marker.
The Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors go to our seniors, Natalie Rak, Abigail Stager, Ally Ruiz, Abby Lang, Natalie Figura, Jadyn Coy, Sam Braden, Gracie Strzempek and Libby Earley.
The Tigers season ends with a 22-2 overall record. Congratulations to Head Coach Chuck Kelly and the Tigers on another successful season.
Girls Soccer Summary vs. Conestoga, 11-14-23
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||FINAL|
The North Allegheny girls’ soccer team knocked off the reigning PIAA Class 4A champion Central Dauphin Rams on Saturday afternoon, 3-2, in the PIAA quarterfinals at Altoona High School. The Rams were the No. 1-ranked team in the country by the USCA and had not allowed three goals in a game since 2019. North Allegheny senior Ally Ruiz personally put an end to the CD streak with a hat trick and was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
The victory punches the Tigers’ ticket to the PIAA semifinals for the second time in the last four seasons and atones for a loss to Central Dauphin in the state quarterfinals last year. For the Central Dauphin Rams, the loss was their first of the year, ending their season with a 21-1 record.
The District 3 champions got off to a good start against North Allegheny when Makenna Kirk fired a shot from 40-yards out to give the Rams a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute of play. The Tigers responded quickly in the 36th minute when Ruiz was awarded a penalty kick and converted to knot the score at 1-1.
With the game deadlocked coming out of halftime, Kirk netted her 10th goal of the season on a free kick from 40-yards out to give Central Dauphin the lead back in the 43rd minute, 2-1. Similar to the first half, Ruiz answered back with a game-tying marker, assisted by freshman Kieran Shannon, in the 48th minute.
The contest appeared destined for overtime but Ruiz’s late-game heroics propelled the Tigers to victory. Shannon once again fed a pass to Ruiz who buried a shot in the 76th minute to give NA a 3-2 lead. Accounting for all three goals on the day, Ruiz now has 15 on the season.
North Allegheny led in corner kicks, 6-2, and outshot Central Dauphin, 7-5. Senior goalie Natalie Rak made three saves to earn the victory in net.
The Tigers improve to 21-1 on the season and advance to the PIAA Class 4A semifinals on Tuesday night at a site and time to be determined.
Girls Soccer Summary vs. Central Dauphin, 11-11-23
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||FINAL|
by: Bob Orkwis
After seeing their undefeated season and their hopes for a WPIAL championship spoiled by Fox Chapel, the Tigers set off on a quest for a state title.
The first step was a successful one, as North Allegheny scored a 4-2 victory over District 6 champion Altoona at Mansion Park.
It started well for Altoona, as their fantastic striker Hailey Kravetz scored her 45th goal of the season just four minutes into the match to give the Lady Lions a 1-0 lead.
But North Allegheny had the answer, and the response was three first half goals.
Abigail Stager notched the equalizer in the 12th minute, scoring from 18-yards out on a breakaway down the near side. The goal was the 32nd of the year for the Kentucky recruit.
Freshman Kieran Shannon put the Tigers in front 2-1 in the 24th minute. She got open on the right side and found the net for her 15th tally of the year.
With Maddie Miller off on a yellow card, the Tigers were awarded a free kick in the 35th minute. It was Ally Ruiz who knocked the shot home and the Tigers led 3-1 at intermission.
Coming out of the locker room, Altoona found a way to make it a one-goal game with a free kick strike of their own.
Freshman Ava Frey put home the shot in the upper near corner for her 4th goal of the year and it was a 3-2 contest with 15 minutes remaining.
Senior keeper Aubrey Dietzel made several great stops in the second half to keep the Lady Lions in the match.
North Allegheny would finally get the all-important insurance marker in the 79th minute of play.
Stager attacked on the right side and laid a great touch pass at the feet of Izzy Costa and the junior found the net for her first goal of the season to seal the 4-2 win for the Tigers.
Senior Natalie Rak earned the win in goal for North Allegheny, who improved to (21-1) on the season. Altoona sees their season end at (15-6).
With her 12th tally of the season and the eventual game winning goal, Highpoint recruit Ally Ruiz earned the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
Next up for North Allegheny is a 4A PIAA Quarterfinal matchup against Central Dauphin. That match will be played Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Facing section rival Fox Chapel in the WPIAL Class 4A championship on Thursday night, the North Allegheny girls’ soccer team dropped a narrow 1-0 decision in overtime at Highmark Stadium. Senior Kate Friday netted the golden goal 35 seconds into overtime to give the sixth-seeded Foxes their first WPIAL crown since 1985 and second title overall.
The top-seeded Tigers were vying for their fourth WPIAL championship in the last five years and got off to a strong start as senior Abigail Stager had the first good scoring chance just minutes into the game but an early chip shot inside the goal box missed high.
Friday had Fox Chapel’s only scoring chance in the first half on a free kick from 20-yards out but also missed high. The NA back line and senior goalie Natalie Rak limited the Foxes throughout the half, keeping the game scoreless. With two minutes left before halftime, senior Abby Lang had a scoring chance off a corner kick but sent a shot wide left.
In the first half, the two teams combined for only three shots on net. North Allegheny increased the energy and opened things up in the second half, yielding a terrific opportunity in the first two minutes. Junior Rowan Barsotti fed a pass to Stager in the goal box and blasted a shot off the cross bar from 15 yards out. Before Stager could capitalize on the rebound, Fox Chapel freshman goalie Lia Pizzella smothered the ball and the game remained deadlocked.
In kind, Rak stonewalled Fox Chapel junior Alyssa Quackenbush with a stellar save from point blank range in front of the NA net with 21:02 left in the second half. Rak made five saves on the night and was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
With neither team cracking the scoreboard in regulation, Fox Chapel managed to net the game-winner and only goal of the evening when Friday delivered a perfectly placed shot from 22-yards out in the top right corner of the net to propel the Foxes to their first championship in 38 years.
The loss drops North Allegheny’s record to 20-1 on the season, while Fox Chapel improves to 13-4-2. Both teams qualify for the PIAA playoffs, which begin on Tuesday night.
Girls Soccer Summary vs. Fox Chapel, 11-2-23
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||OT||FINAL|
The All-WPIAL girls’ soccer teams were announced on Monday and four members of the North Allegheny girls’ soccer team were named to the Class 4A team by the Western Pennsylvania Soccer Coaches Association. Seniors Jadyn Coy, Libby Earley and Abigail Stager, and junior Maddie Miller each garnered All-WPIAL accolades.
Stager, a University of Kentucky commit, is the team’s leading scorer with 31 goals and earned All-WPIAL laurels for the second consecutive season. Coy is tied for third on the team in scoring with 11 markers on the campaign, while Earley’s steady play in the midfield has led to many NA markers and prevented plenty of opposing scoring opportunities. Earley has one goal on the season and Miller has netted a pair. Miller is rock on defense and a two-year starter at center back. Miller has helped North Allegheny post 13 shutouts this season, one shy of tying the single-season program record.
All four players have played an instrumental role in North Allegheny’s 20-0 season and fourth trip to the WPIAL championship game in the last five season. The Lady Tigers will vie for a fourth WPIAL crown on Thursday night when they face section foe Fox Chapel.
— North Allegheny Girls Soccer (@nasoccergirls) October 30, 2023