Tigers Edged By Foxes In WPIAL Championship, 1-0
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|