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FINAL: Moon 3, Mars 2

Who:    Moon (21-0) vs Mars (15-1)
What:   WPIAL Girls 3A soccer final
When:   Friday, Nov. 3, 6:02 p.m.
Where:  Highmark Stadium
Watch/Follow:  TribHSSN / pghsoccerscribe (twitter) 
I’ll be at Highmark Stadium along with photographer Long Hong — as we’ll capture all of the action of tonight’s Girls 3A final. You can follow updates here as I’ll post updates and other information as the game goes on.
7:38 p.m. – FINAL — MOON 3, MARS 2
Terrific match — as Moon finishes WPIAL competition undefeated (22-0) beating a reslienent, young and talented Mars. This will be a game we’ll remember for some time. Lots of twists and turns — but the Tigers repeat as champs!
7:30 p.m. – GOOOAAL – MOON – 3-2 – 76′
Looked like Kylee Evans in scrum heads under cross bar & bounces in!
Emily Orr service on another corner kick!
7:24 p.m. – This one’s been a real battle — only 7 minutes remaining and both Moon and Mars pushing for the go-ahead goal. Fun game
7:17 p.m. – GOAL – MARS 2-2
It’s Taylor Hamlett to does the dirty work – as Mars strikes back again to equalize!
Moon defender played it back to box area way too far for keeper Madison Sleva and Hamlett beats the keeper to the ball to poke it in.  65′
7:13 p.m. – GOAL – MOON 2-1
Moon’s been bringing the pressure — and it finally pays off after earning a corner kick.

7:01 p.m. – Mars earns pair of corners. Moon heads both away with ease. With Moon having much more size — looks like tough task for the Planets to get good looks on traditional balls in, but you never know. Good things always happen on balls that land near goal at this level.
6:57 p.m. – seven minutes into second half — Moon possessing a bit more in midfield — and lo and behold — a strike from distance!  What a shot from MF Abi Monroe from about 28 yds — a rocket — and save of the game from Mars’ GK Claire Valentine 
6:40 p.m. – HALF – We’re still tied. Both teams trying to impose their will. Mars using the width and able to play up and down with talented Moon. Since the early goal, Mars have also bottled up the very dangerous Snyder — limiting her chances.
Will be interesting to see what Moon does to adjust. Right now, Mars defensive shape it solid. I’m thinking bringing Snyder back to the middle to get more involved might be an option.
6:10 p.m. – GOAL – MARS 1-1
Caroline Wroblewski blows by outside back on left side – scores from tough angle 10′
6:03 p.m. – GOAL – MOON 1-0
After corner kick — Moon’s senior star Delaney Snyder has no problem putting in a loose ball. It’s only the 4th goall scored on Mars all season. That was her 45th goal of season.
6:01 p.m. – It’s been all Moon thus far. Mars unable to get any possession.
5:57 p.m. – we’ve already kicked off — as a pretty nice crowd already — Moon brought more of a supporters section and they’re already
Yes — start cracking the intergalactic jokes here — because the stars and planets have aligned — and we have Moon vs Mars match-up in a WPIAL final.
A year ago, with the core group of the same players — Moon rolled to a WPIAL and then eventually a PIAA title. This year, they’re without a loss or a tie –carrying a perfect 21-0 record into this year’s WPIAL final against Mars, the 2015 WPIAL 2A champions.
For Moon — leading the way is Miami (OH) commit Delany Snyder — who has been the leading scorer and play maker who puts the Tigers attack into overdrive every time she touches the ball in the final third. Earlier this season, she broke the Moon career goal-scoring record and has since increased her total to 114 goals. She has 31 this season, which ranks among the WPIAL leaders. Tigers are more than a one-player show — as coach Bill Pfeifer has a deep team — with numerous quality players that are also including senior Emily Orr who scored the game winner in last year’s WPIAL final vs Montour, senior Kristi Kania anchoring the back line and sophomore midfielder/Akron commit Chloe Kuminkoski. Defensively, the Tigers are a tough team to score on — as they’ve only given up five goals all season, posting 16 clean sheets.
Remarkably, Mars defense has been even more impressive than Moon — only conceding three goals all season. Mars coach Blair Gerlach has had his program consistently near the top of the middle classifications in WPIAL girls soccer (2A and now 3A) this decade — winning the district title four times since 2010.  Despite an impressive showing this season — with a team that has only three seniors — shutting down Moon will be a tall task for the Planets.

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. 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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