Mt. Lebanon Outlasts NA In Season Opener, 5-3

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by Dave Floyd

In a rematch of the last two WPIAL Division I championships, Mount Lebanon used a second-half shutout to defeat North Allegheny 5-3 on Friday night.

The season-opening contest at Newman Stadium started off in back-and-forth fashion, as the teams traded a pair of goals in the first period.

NA junior attacker Wes Powell opened the scoring just 48 seconds into the game off of an assist from senior Gavin Hagen. Then, after the Blue Devils evened the score, sophomore midfielder Ben Maenza responded with a goal less than a minute later to give the Tigers the lead back at 2-1.

Mount Lebanon tied the game at 2-2 with 5:19 remaining in the first quarter before the teams went more than 13 minutes without scoring. NA’s Hagen broke the drought with an unassisted goal at 7:57, but that proved to be the last tally for the Tigers.

The Blue Devils scored with 44 seconds remaining in the half and then notched two third-period goals to provide the two-goal advantage they never relinquished.

Albeit in defeat, NA senior goalkeeper Ean Kuska helped the Tigers defense hold last season’s No. 1 offense in Divison I to just the five goals. For his efforts, Kuska earned the honor of Wright Automotive Player of the Game.

The Tigers will look to bounce back and earn their first victory of 2017 when they travel to Upper St. Clair on Tuesday. Faceoff for that non-section contest is set for 7:30 p.m.