Patel’s Late Free Kick Goal Earns Tigers 2-2 Draw

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by Bob Orkwis

Trailing 2-1 after the first half, senior captain Arnav Patel created some great opportunities for North Allegheny to tie the match on several free kick attempts in the second half.

His shots and several subsequent rebounds were all denied by Butler’s Drew Knight.

Patel was finally able to solve Knight with 1:05 left in regulation time, as he drove a free kick from the right hash inside the far post and into upper corner to tie the match at 2-2.

Neither team had a shot in the first overtime, but the Tigers had several great opportunities to cash in the second overtime, but the senior Knight was stellar in goal for the Golden Tornado as he was all game.

He denied Patel on a rebound and stopped Zach Nash and Luke Brady on back-to-back shots to preserve the tie.

The latter saves came after Butler’s Nicholas Niebauer chased down a loose ball on the attack, only to be met by senior captain Dante Accamando who came way off his line to author his biggest save of the game with 1:30 left.

Caleb Rumberger started the scoring for North Allegheny when he put home a rebound in the third minute.

Butler tied the game on an innocuous play in the 19th minute. Thomas Sheptak played a roller towards the Tigers net, and a rare mistake by Accamando and the North Allegheny defense saw the ball barely cross the line behind the diving keeper to knot the match at 1-1.

The second Butler goal resulted in a team leading ninth goal of the year for Cody Lubinsky who took a great pass from Niebauer and found the net for the 2-1 lead in the 35th minute.

The score remained 2-1 until Patel’s late regulation heroics evened the match before the overtime sessions.

Patel’s game tying marker, his sixth of the year and his strong two-way play, earned the Wright Automotive Player of the Game honors.

Butler, (9-2-3, 6-2-2), has seven wins and back-to-back ties in its last 9 matches. North Allegheny, (11-0-2, 8-0-2), remained unbeaten on the season and the Tigers also held on to the lead in 4A Section 1.

North Allegheny hits the road next Tuesday when they visit North Hills, before returning home on October 5th to host Fox Chapel in a match that will be carried on the North Allegheny Sports Network.

Boys Soccer Summary vs. Butler, 9-28-23

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