Two teams who are familiar with each other through the WPIAL playoffs: Shady Side Academy and Bentworth renewed their post season rivalry in the Girls Class 1A semifinal on Monday at Canon-McMillan.
Avenging their playoff loss from a year ago, Shady Side shook off an early Bentworth goal, and broke open a close contest with three second half goals en route to a 5-1 victory. Callie Davis picked up a hat trick, and also had an assist in leading the way for the Indians.
With the win, Shady Side will now meet section rivals, Greensburg Central Catholic, once again in the WPIAL final at Highmark Stadium later this week. GCC dethroned the defending 1A champions, Freedom, with a 4-3 win in overtime.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The opening quarter of the game would see each team feeling each other out to see maybe what may have changed since the last time they met.
Shady Side Academy would apply the most pressure but it was nothing dangerous for the Bearcats to deal with.
Bentworth’s dynamic duo, which have combined for more than 200 goals in their high school careers, would strike first 14 minutes into the contest.
Jocelyn Timlin would run onto a ball from Paige Marshalek and use her shoulder to hold off a Shady Side defender and slide the shot into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.
It took Shady Side just four minutes to respond.
Callie Davis received a pass from Melissa Riggins with her back to the goal and showed some technical skill, turned to slide a shot towards the back post to tie the game 1-1 3:40 apart.
Shady Sides goal keeper Molly Skvorak, well aware of Timlin’s ability to break behind her defenders for through balls, came off her line to slide into a valiant save attempt that also resulted in a collision with Timlin.
Shady Side Academy would earn a corner kick and send in Calli Davis to take the honors.
Davis’ kick would find the head of Melissa Riggins’ — and into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead, which they would take into the half over Bentworth.
Six and a half minutes into the second half, Davis sent a shot to the backside post — and nearly made it 3-1, as the ball struck the inside of the post but never crossed the goal line, caroming across the face of the net and away from danger.
In the 56th minute, it remained a tight, nip-and-tuck contest, as Timlin came close to leveling it on a diagonal ball through the box.
After a few unsuccessful counter chances, Shady Side got the goal they needed to get some breathing room, as Melissa Riggins would corral a ball just on the edge of the 18 and drill her shot past Manning.
Not to be out done, Davis would get her second goal of the game, by finding the back post with her left foot.
Just like that, a tight, one-goal game quickly tilted into a commanding 4-1 Shady Side lead
Davis would get the hat trick when she weaved through a few Bentworth defenders to score, making it 5-1
The Championship game will be at Highmark Stadium with a day and time to be determined. The rivals, SSA and GCC split their contests this season, each getting a home field win. (GCC won 2-1, and SSA won 2-0)
Bentworth still has a chance to advance into the PIAA Playoffs vs Freedom on Wednesday, with time and location to be determined.