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Preview WPIAL Girls Soccer 2A Final: Yough vs North Catholic 

WPIAL Girls Soccer 2A Final 
Saturday, November 2–  10 a.m. – Highmark Stadium 

Yough (17-1-1) vs North Catholic  (13-4-0)

PSN Coverage: Ed Rosensteel (Twitter @EdRosensteel | photography – Ed Thompson (Twitter (@Thompson12foto) | post-game interviews – John Krysinsky (@pghsoccerscribe)

This will be a match that features two soccer programs that have been on the rise in recent years — and finally each have made it to Highmark Stadium — as they’ll be playing for WPIAL Class 2A girls soccer supremacy.

“It’s program history, so it’s definitely a new feeling for the program, and myself,” North Catholic’s head coach Emily Karr, told Pittsburgh Soccer Now on Monday night, after a resounding 3-0 win vs defending champion South Park in the semifinal. “We are incredibly excited.”

Both teams feature scoring sensations — and each team is peaking at the right time of the year — which should make for a fascinating final.

For North Catholic it’s Jayden Sharpless, who after one year removed from her district rookie scoring title (as a freshman!), scored twice in the win against South Park.

Trojan Horse: North Catholic dethrones South Park to reach Girls 2A Final

The Trojans have won its last six, outscoring the opposition, 22-2. Joining Sharpless at the top of the attack is Tehya Dave, another sophomore forward, who created plenty of dangerous moments in the win on Monday.

“Putting us two together is dangerous. We just connect so well,” Sharpless said after the win against a well-organized South Park defensive. “[Coach Karr] told us before the game that we were going to have a lot of shots from outside the box,”

Yough has been knocking on the door for a number of years, but could never break through to the WPIAL final. The Cougars’ only loss and draw this year have come against South Park.

Leading the charge this season for a team that’s on a 14-game win streak, has been Justine Appolonia, who’s carried on the family tradition within this program — and helped taken them to new heights.

Her older sisters, Leigh and Corynn, both played soccer at Yough, while twin sister Gianna is right there by her side.

Oh, that’s right — and their father, Dann, is the Cougars’ head coach.

Justine Appolonia, a Youngstown St. recruit, has broken the school’s goal scoring record, but most importantly, she and Corynn anchor the midfield, controlling possession and play.

Yough hopes to dictate tempo of each match, and set the tone as they work together with a full team-oriented approach.

“It’s obviously a very great honor to be able to do it  (scoring record), but it’s not really about me. It’s more of a team effort,” Appolonia said. “Without the rest of the team, there’s no way would I have scored that many goals. It’s a tribute to the whole team. Everyone who knows me, knows that it’s more about our team than Justine Appolonia.”




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).

Glory on the Grass

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Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

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