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Shupansky’s brace nets win for North Allegheny

photo credit: North Allegheny Athletics

In a matchup of Class 4A perennial playoff teams, North Allegheny traveled south to play out of section against Upper St. Clair.

What was deemed as the game of the night in WPIAL Girls soccer action between these two programs, it was every bit the chess match as those around the game thought it would be.

Upper St. Clair got on the board early with pressure and possession. The Panthers were taking away passing lanes and creating pressure on the back four of North Allegheny. USC would collect those errant passes and 50/50 balls and build attacks.

On a ball that got knocked back towards the eighteen, Junior Forward Carson Borgan was able to shield a defender on her back and run into the penalty box and collect the ball and slot it past the NA goalkeeper for the one to nothing lead nine minutes into the first half.

North Allegheny who was on their heels during those first nine minutes quickly settled into the game following that goal. The possession started to favor North Allegheny.

The Lady Tigers were able to find pockets in the defense of USC and build forward. Upper St. Clair’s back four stood their ground allowing shots but they were from distance and were not posing a threat. The game would go to the half with the Panthers leading 1-0.

The start of the second half saw North Allegheny come out fast looking for the tying goal. Two minutes in NA’s Pitt Commit, Sarah Shupansky put USC’s goal keeper and Akron Commit, Jill Rocco to work with a challenging shot that Rocco denied to preserve the one goal lead.

Shupansky was just getting warmed up.

North Allegheny was looking for its space and Shupansky would get a couple aggressive offside calls against her heading into the final third. Not letting that hold her back she continued her aggressive runs without the ball. It would pay off with sixteen minutes left in the half when Ava Ruppersberger would slide a well placed ball into the path of Schupansky.

Schupansky would cut across from her left to right just inside the 18 and fire a shot into the upper right corner of the goal to tie the game at one.

The final sixteen minutes would see the chess match continue between two disciplined and technical teams. Each team was trying to find that gap or outside run to get the game-winner.

NA put USC’s Rocco to work with 5 minutes left and she would stand tall. Carson Borgan looked to get her second goal of the game late in the second half with a close range shot but was denied by NA goal keeper Madison Vukas.

North Allegheny would have the kick to start the first overtime. A well played longed ball into the final third saw NA take possession deep and look to get a shot off. University of Tampa Commit, Hannah Kirkpatrick would find Shupansky who would take a similar path as her first goal, this time right to left and bury it in the far left upper corner for the game winner and her second goal of the match, ending a very closely played game that could have been either teams victory.

The host Upper St. Clair falls to 3-2-0, while North Allegheny improves to 5-1-0.

It would not be a surprise to see these two schools facing off again come October.

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