NA falls to Panthers in WPIAL First Round
by Jonathan Spina
It was a rematch of Monday’s regular season finale between North Allegheny and Upper St. Clair. The Tigers won that game 2-1 but it was Upper St. Clair who got their revenge in the first round of the WPIAL Playoffs winning 2-0.
It was a very defensive first half as both teams’ back lines were very strong. There was only one shot on goal in the half which was taken by Jonathan Swann, who had scored on Monday. The Tigers defense of Samuel Gianetti, Jason Roman, Jonathan Ross and Ryan Schwartz played very well in the first half, not allowing a shot on goal.
Upper St. Clair had a fast start in the second half, getting a scoring chance two minutes in when a point-blank shot was tipped away by Jonathan Partridge which forced a corner kick. The initial cross was defended by the Tigers defense but from 30 yards out Cyrus Khani was able to chip the ball into the top left corner giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead. The next 30 minutes was absolutely dominated by the Tigers with NA getting six corners and two shots on goal but the Upper St. Clair defense and keeper Anthony Ioli stayed strong in the back. With time ticking down and North Allegheny bringing more and more people up on offense, the Panthers were able to counterattack and got a 2-on-1 chance. The odd-man break was finished by Jack Myers who chipped the ball over Partridge for the goal, giving Upper St. Clair a 2-0 lead with 5:04 to go in the game. The Tigers continued to fight and had multiple chances in the last five minutes but the Panthers came out of the game as 2-0 winners.
The Wright Automotive Player of the Game was the North Allegheny senior class of Braden Jones, Gianetti, Luke Anderson, Justin Mericle, Bryce Burroughs, Sam Maldia, Will Cinker, Matt Van Kirk, Roman, J.D. Runatz, Ali Saif, Jack Walsh, Sam Passodelis, Ross, Andrew Solman, Darien Sansosti, Schwartz and Partridge. This group had a four year record of 58-18-8, two section titles and back-to-back WPIAL Championships in 2016 and 2017.
The win improves Upper St. Clair to 12-3-2. They will advance to take on top-seeded Plum in the WPIAL Quarterfinals on Wednesday. The Tigers season ends at 11-7-1.
Boys Soccer Summary vs. Upper St. Clair, 10-19-19
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||FINAL|
|Upper St. Clair||0||2||2|