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FINAL: Avonworth wins first-ever WPIAL soccer title on PKs

WPIAL Boys 1A Final

Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions (17-1-0) vs Avonworth Antelopes (18-0-1)

Thursday, November 1, 2018 – 6 pm kickoff

Highmark Stadium


Ed Rosensteel – reporting

Ed Thompson – photography






First-ever WPIAL soccer title for Avonworth.

Back-up keeper Luke Wagner makes the only save of the shootout — on Ethan Boyle’s attempt to the left side in the sixth round of kicks.

8:18 – We’re going to PKs. Game ends 2-2.

WOW Avonworth backup goalie Luke Wagner makes a diving stop with three seconds remaining in OT to keep the score 2-2. ‘Lopes and GCC headed to PKs

7:34 – GCC mounts a furious second half comeback to tie it. We’re going to OT.

6:30 – AVONWORTH takes 2-0 lead.

6:15 – GOAL – Avonworth strikes first.

5:47 – Our two “Eds” have checked-in at Highmark…

3:50 – GCC boys are dressed and ready!


Can Avonworth neutralize Greensburg’s potent attack?

Pitt commit Luke Mort and his teammates have amassed more than 90 goals this season. After scoring 11 in its first two games of the WPIAL playoffs, GCC ran into a well-organized Seton-LaSalle who did a decent job of clamping down on Mort.

However, GCC made adjustments, and capitalized on its chances to equalize, and then eventually overtake the Rebels. Avonworth also made the most of one pinpoint cross and header vs a very strong Springdale defense.

This final will come down to which team can find one big play for the breakthrough moment.

“I wish we had scored a few more in the run of play,” Avonworth head coach Tyler Solis said after a tough battle with Seton-LaSalle. “We had to change our formation, but we adjusted well to that. Seton was a well-organized team, and they didn’t allow us to get into any flow.”

More on Greensburg Central Catholic

  • Greensburg Central Catholic got the first-round monkey off its backs this year, outscoring its opponents 13-1 in the first two rounds of the playoffs thus far.
  • On Monday, the Centurians were tested though against Seton-LaSalle in the semifinal, coming back from a 1-0 deficit with goals from a Nate Ward shot that deflected off a defender, then Ryan Reitler‘s game-winner from a Ward cross.
  • GCC’s primary goal scorer is Mort, who spoke with Pittsburgh Sports Now‘s Harry Psaros earlier this week. Mort had a hat trick in a 5-0, second-round win over No. 7 Brentwood.
  • GCC made the semifinals in 2015 but has not been to the finals since 2012.
  • The Centurions’ last WPIAL title came in 2009.

More on Avonworth

  • Avonworth relies on a strong defense that’s allowed only six goals this season, as Timmy Stewart‘s posted 14 clean sheets.
  • In beating section foes Springdale three times — they won the three games by an aggregate score of 2-0 (two wins and a scoreless draw). In the semifinal on Monday, senior Sam Guzzo headed in a crossing pass from fellow senior Jason Novosel with 19 minutes left in the second half to give the top-seeded Antelopes the lead.
  • Undefeated this season, Avonworth are led by seniors Lucas Schriefer, Guzzo, Novosel and Joseph Brandt.
  • This is Avonworth’s second appearance in a WPIAL final. They lost to Seton-LaSalle in OT in 2015 when Brandon Banadetti‘s strike from 35 yards dashed Avonworth’s title hopes.
    Goes Upper 90!.
  • After that appearance in the finals, it took a few years for Avonworth to build its program back up, The Antelopes won only four games in 2016 and lost in the WPIAL first round last year.

WPIAL Soccer History (Past Champions)

Sounding Off on Soccer: Riverhounds Road Woes

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