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East-West Classic: West Allegheny rolls past Exeter, 6-1

Logan Cunningham (35) scored one of six West Allegheny goals to beat Exeter. Photo by Ed Thompson

East-West Classic: West Allegheny rolls past Exeter, 6-1

For the defending PIAA 3A Boys champions, West Allegheny, Saturday presented an opportunity for a bounce back win, following a season opening 3-0 loss to defending PIAA 4A champions Fleetwood.

They did exactly that — rolling past Exeter, 6-1 in the second match of the East-West Classic for both teams.

The Indians balanced attack included goals from Caleb Miller, Connor Cesnik, Keegan Amos, Logan Cunningham, Johnny Dragisich and Fletcher Amos.

Exeter’s Alex Ramirez scored a highlight goal in the second half that prevented the shutout.

ED THOMPSON PHOTO GALLERY

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HOW IT HAPPENED

Wasting no time getting on the front foot, West Allegheny set the tone from the beginning.

The Indians advanced deep into the final third in its opening possession, in the first minute of the match.  Sophomore Johnny Dragisich’s work to move past one defender to move up the end line resulted in getting clipped from behind to set up a penalty shot opportunity.

Senior Caleb Miller converted the penalty kick to gave the Indians the early 1-0 lead.

The Indians continued with in impressive first half performance, as senior midfielder Connor Cesnik moved into the box in the 11th minute to drive a shot into the top half of the goal.

Following that up, the Indians moved up the field quickly for a terrific build-up in the 18th minute, as Keegan Amos scored with a clinical finish after getting a terrific ball in from Cesnik.

The Indians weren’t done in the first half.

In the 27th minute, Logan Cunningham took a shot from a tough angle that found its way into the upper half of goal to give West Allegheny a commanding 4-0 lead.

West Allegheny would add two more second half goals, from Johnny Dragisich, the sophomore brother of last year’s team captain, Nathan Dragisich, and Fletcher Amos, the hero from last year’s PIAA Semifinal win vs Franklin Regional.

Exeter did have a shining moment in the second half to give them some momentum for the trip back home — and confidence as they look toward section play in the coming weeks.

Alex Ramirez drilled what might have been the shot of the tournament — from 36 yards — in the 72nd minute that cut the deficit to 6-1. 

POST-GAME INTERVIEW WITH COACH KEVIN AMOS

POST-GAME INTERVIEW WITH FLETCHER AMOS

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, 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 United States. 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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