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PREVIEW: Avonworth look to complete unbeaten season in PIAA 1A boys soccer final

PREVIEW: Avonworth look to complete unbeaten season in PIAA 1A boys soccer final

PIAA Boys 1A Soccer Final

Avonworth (23-0-1) vs Millville (21-2)

Friday, November 16 – HersheyPark Stadium, Hershey, PA – 1:30 p.m.

 

Of the three WPIAL teams that will play for a PIAA soccer title on Friday, none have ever won a State Championship, and only one have made it to the finals (West Allegheny boys in 2013).

On Friday, the Avonworth boys will look to complete an unprecedented, undefeated season.

This Avonworth team may not be the flashiest team, but they have been very good all season long, and emblematic of its steady and humble head coach Tom Angell who has guided this program through the past 13 years.

Under Angell’s guidance, Avonworth has always had a well-respected program that’s progressively become better and better. The Antelopes made their first trip to a WPIAL final in 2015, and won its first-district title this season.

FOLLOW:

We will have game day updates on our PIAA Championship Friday blog after the first game kicks off at 11 a.m.

BROADCAST:

PCN will have coverage of the PIAA Soccer Championships. The championships will air LIVE on November 16 at 11 AM on cable or streamed on the PCN App.

Website: pcntv.com/sports

Social Media: @pcntv, #PIAAonPCN

GAME NOTES:  Avonworth vs Millville

  • This match may be a battle of attrition — as both sides have been successful shutting down its opponents, and getting timely goals.
  • Avonworth will try to complete an unbeaten season, but will face a tough challenge from District 4 champion that also makes a first-ever appearance in PIAA state final.
  • The Antelopes have put together a couple of solid wins in the PIAAs thus far, beating West Shomokin 4-1, in the first round, then coming from behind late to beat Rockwood, 2-1, capping off the rally with a late penalty kick by Owen North. Then clinched its first state title game berth with a 1-0 win over Greensburg Central Catholic in the semifinals Tuesday. The Antelopes also defeated the Centurions in the WPIAL final for their first district title.
  • Senior Sam Guzzo had the lone goal on Tuesday. Guzzo is not the lone focal point of the Avonworth attack as midfielders Tyler Bryan, Aymeric Verdier, Jonah Brandt and Jason Novosel are solid complementary pieces.
  • For Avonworth, though, they have been about as solid defensively as any other high school soccer team in Pennsylvania this season. The Antelopes haven’t has not allowed more than two goals in a game all season and has allowed one goal or less in 22 games. Senior goalkeeper Tim Stewart has 15 shutouts, including four in the postseason.
  • Avonworth has outscored opponents 16-4 in the postseason. Aside from a scoreless tie against Springdale on Sept. 11, the Antelopes have won every match and are on a 19-game winning streak.
  • Millville cruised to a 3-0 win over Faith Christian Academy in the semifinals. The Quakers were the first team to shut out Faith Christian all season. Senior Josh Spangenberg, a team captain, scored a goal in the win. Millville has been in the state playoffs the last four seasons, but hadn’t advanced past the quarterfinals. The Quakers have posted 10 shutouts and have outscored opponents 28-4 in the playoffs.

Avonworth tops Greensburg Central Catholic again to reach PIAA final for first-time in school history

Avonworth perseveres to win first-ever WPIAL soccer title

THEY SAID IT

“We were always watching these games from afar, we’ve never had this opportunity until recently as a program, so this very special,” Angell, who’s in his 13th season coaching at Avonworth.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets including Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, and more. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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