NA Drops Regular Season Finale To Pine-Richland
There wasn’t much drama heading into the regular season finale on Wednesday night at Newman Stadium as both Pine-Richland and North Allegheny were locked into their WPIAL postseason seeding. The undefeated Rams had already secured the section title weeks ago and the Tigers were guaranteed to finish in the No. 4 spot in the Class 3A bracket. Despite the fact that not much was at stake, both teams gave spirited effort with the visiting Rams coming out on top, 4-1.
The four-time reigning WPIAL champions were still vying for a fourth consecutive undefeated regular season and got off to a good start when Anna Merlack scored on a penalty corner less than four minutes into the game for a 1-0 lead. Senior Jessica Albertson tallied a marker with 5:54 left in the first quarter to extend PR’s lead to 2-0. North Allegheny senior Isla Abrams quickly got the Tigers back into the game when she used her lightning-quick speed and raced coast-to-coast with possession and beat PR goalie Sara Neuhart to trim the deficit to 2-1 with 1:06 left in the opening stanza.
Pine-Richland seized control on the second quarter with a goal by Kendyll Jerry with 11:09 on the clock and a late marker by Madeline Mill with just eight seconds left in the half for a 4-1 lead.
In the second half, Abrams and the Tigers produced several scoring chances and penalty corners but couldn’t crack the scoreboard again in the final 30 minutes. With 6:40 left in the third period, Sophie Grafton had a strong scoring chance but Neuhart managed to make the save. In the second half, North Allegheny led in penalty corners, 3-2. However, Neuhart and the Rams maintained their three-goal lead and closed out a 4-1 win. Neuhart made five saves to earn the victory.
For the game, Pine-Richland led in penalty corners, 5-4. North Allegheny junior goalie Kayla Joyce had another spectacular night in between the pipes and posted 20 saves. For Joyce’s effort on defense, and Abrams spark on offense, the NA duo was named Wright Automotive Players of the Game for their outstanding play.
With the loss, North Allegheny slips to 8-8-2 overall and 6-4-2 in Section 1-3A. Pine-Richland improves to 17-0 overall and concludes section play at a perfect 12-0. The Tigers and Rams will matchup for a third time this season in the WPIAL semifinals on Saturday, Oct. 28, in Gibsonia. The game will be broadcast live by the North Allegheny Sports Network.
Field Hockey Summary vs. Pine-Richland, 10-18-23
|SCORE BY QUARTERS||1||2||3||4||FINAL|