Tigers Play To 1-1 Draw With Reigning PIAA Champs, Remain Unbeaten
In a battle of unbeaten teams on Tuesday night at Newman Stadium, the North Allegheny boys’ soccer team played to a 1-1 draw in double overtime with the Seneca Valley Raiders. The tie keeps both teams undefeated on the season and extends Seneca Valley’s regular season unbeaten streak to 50 consecutive games.
In the early going, the Raiders’ streak was severely threatened when senior captain Arnav Patel scored his fourth goal of the season in the game’s 2nd minute for an immediate 1-0 lead. Seneca Valley nearly answered back in the 3rd minute but senior Cole Kamarec was denied on a great diving save by senior goalie Dante Accamando, keeping NA’s one-goal lead intact. In the 9th minute, Kamarec was once again turned away on a top-shelf stop by the Tigers keeper.
On a night filled with twists and turns and momentum swings, the Raiders got their first big break in the second half. With 31:22 on the clock, Kamarec got behind the NA defense and was knocked off his feet by Accamando in the goal box. The officials issued Accamando a yellow card and awarded Seneca Valley with a penalty kick. With Accamando forced from the game due to the yellow card, junior Ryan Young entered to face a PK from junior Tyler Prex, who took the shot for the injured Kamarec. Prex placed the PK shot just beyond the diving reach of Young and into the bottom right corner of the net to knot the score at 1-1. Despite being shaken up, Kamarec was able to return to the game a short time later.
Seneca Valley held the advantage in possession time in the second half and narrowly missed taking the lead twice in the final 20 minutes of regulation. On a free kick from about 20 yards out, senior Ben Keefer struck the crossbar and the game remained deadlocked. Kamarec struck the left post on a shot later in the game as well.
The Tigers nearly struck lightning with five minutes left in regulation when senior Joey Vojtas made a hustling steal near midfield and put a strong shot on net from about 20 yards out. However, Raiders goalie Gus Whytcherly’s diving save kept the game tied.
In the first overtime, junior Nathan Katari had a chance to score but missed wide left on a shot from 25 yards out. In turn, Seneca Valley’s Tyler Mazenek had an opportunity to score the golden goal but was denied on another fine diving save by Accamando.
The Tigers had perhaps the best opportunity of the extra session midway through the second overtime on a throw-in by junior Lucas Henderson. On the far side of the field, the throw-in ricocheted to junior Mykola Denysenko on the near post with a yawning net. However, Whytcherly franticly sped across to the near post and made a leaping stop to ultimately force the game into a 1-1 draw.
On a night where the goalkeepers shined, Accamando tallied 10 saves and was named the Wright Automotive Player of the Game.
Following the tie, North Allegheny sits at 9-0-1 overall and 6-0-1 in Section 1-4A. Seneca Valley is now 8-0-1 overall and also 6-0-1 in section play. The Tigers begin the second half of section play on Thursday with a visit to Shaler.
Boys Soccer Summary vs. Seneca Valley, 9-19-23
|SCORE BY HALVES||1||2||OT||2OT||FINAL|