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PREVIEW: First-ever PIAA state title is final challenge for West Allegheny boys:

PREVIEW: First-ever PIAA state title is final challenge for West Allegheny boys:

PIAA Boys 3A Soccer Final

West Allegheny (22-2-0) vs Strath Haven (16-6-2)

Friday, November 16 – HersheyPark Stadium, Hershey, PA – 6 :30 p.m.

Friday evening, West Allegheny will look to complete a season filled with high expectations with its first-ever PIAA title.

The West Allegheny boys program has accomplished a lot in recent years.

Won numerous section titles.

Played in four WPIAL title games in the past six years — winning the District crown in 2013.

Numerous players have gone on to play at collegiate level.

Through it all, head coach, Kevin Amos has been the guiding force in taking this program to greater heights. West Allegheny continues to raise the bar for its program and has been in the conversation each year as one of the top boys programs in the WPIAL.

One more milestone remains — winning a PIAA title. They’ll have that chance on Friday night when they take on Strath Haven at HersheyPark Stadium.

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:  West Allegheny vs Strath Haven

  • After a 1-0 loss to Franklin Regional in the WPIAL final, West Allegheny avenged its WPIAL finals loss to Franklin Regional by handing the Panthers their first loss of the season in a 2-1 victory in the PIAA semifinals Tuesday.
  • Fletcher Amos scored both goals in the win, including the game-winner to break a 1-1 tie late in the second half…

  • The Indians played without goaltender Braden Wurst, a four-year starter. Wurst missed the game  concussion. Gabe Haines, who had never played the position, got the start.
  • In its previous PIAA final appearance, the Indians lost 1-0 in overtime to Holy Ghost Prep in 2013.
  • The Indians are led by Nathan Dragisich, a Duquesne recruit, who has 41 goals and 19 assists who mostly plays in the central midfield, but they’re are far from being reliant on one player as multiple players have produced big scoring totals, and have come up with important goals in playoff games the past few years including Amos (20 goals, 17 assists this season), Evan Blunkosky (14 goals and 11 assists) and Jaxon Ervin (10 goals and 18 assists).
  • Strath Haven, the District 1 champion, scored three second half goals to rally past District 12 champ Archbishop Wood, 3-2, clinching a trip to the finals for the first time in 17 years.
  • Nicky Palermo scored twice for the Panthers, and Perrins had the game-winner. Perrins had a pair of goals, including the game-winner, in a 2-1 overtime victory over Mechanicsburg in the first round.
  • Even though it’s been a while since Strath Haven have been in the PIAA Final, they have rich program history, earning five state titles: 1986,’91, ’95, ’96 and 2001.

Amos’ goals lead West Allegheny past Franklin Regional, 2-1, and into PIAA Final

Blunkosky’s late goal lifts West Allegheny past rival South Fayette again, 1-0

THEY SAID IT 

Coach Amos’ team has progressed quite far since early in the season when they were motivated to put behind playoff disappointment from previous seasons.

“We always have goals,” Amos said. “Let’s win the section first. Let’s get into the playoffs and try to win WPIAL. Its a progression. Losing last year in the final, it’s not so much of a disappointment, but a learning experience. There’s a lot of teams that weren’t there, that would love to play at Highmark Stadium or for PIAA title.”

“I think it’s made them hungry this year. The determination, the will to win is really there. A couple of things they learn from losing championship game, has made them stronger for this year.”

 

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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