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North Allegheny wins back-to-back WPIAL Girls titles with 2-1 overtime win vs Butler

File Photo courtesy of Ed Thompson

North Allegheny wins back-to-back WPIAL Girls titles with 2-1 overtime win vs Butler

WPIAL Girls Class 4A Final

FINAL: North Allegheny 2, Butler 1 (2OT)

In a fiercely contested match that included three penalty kick attempts between two section rivals, it was North Allegheny who outlasted Butler, 2-1, in double overtime when Lucia Wells scored the golden goal to lift the TIgers to its second consecutive WPIAL Girls Class 4A soccer title.

Ed Thompson Photo Gallery

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How It Happened

North Allegheny, eager to defend its title, came out firing on all cylinders. Only 10 minutes into the game on through ball, Pitt recruit Sarah Schupansky beat Butler goalkeeper Paige Miller to the ball, then fired a quick shot to the back of the net for the 1-0 lead.

After taking the early lead, North Allegheny played more patiently, keeping possession through the back. The Tigers were hoping to stretch Butler’s defensive shape in what was a constant chess match.

NA picked its spots, looking to get a ball high and attack.

Besides a shot here and there, the game went to the half with the score remaining 1-0.  

Trailing by a goal, Butler started to push higher and higher, and apply more pressure. There persistence paid dividends in the 58th minute, when they earned a penalty kick.

Chloe Weiland would stepped up to take the spot kick. As she drove her shot to the lower right side of goal, NA’s keeper Julie Werner guessed correctly to make a diving save to keep the clean sheet intact.  

Looking for one more chance to draw the game even, Butler kept pushing through to the final minute of regulation.

That’s when they finally converted — with 32.9 seconds left to be precise — when they drew another foul in the box.

With the game, its season and a chance to extend the match to overtime, Butler’s Sam Miller calmly converted on her chance, placing the ball into the right side of the net to tie it 1-1 and force extra time.  

Sarah Schupansky’almost ended the game for NA in fashion as she took a shot with her back to the goal, but a quick reaction from Butler’s Mackenna Yaracs would tip the ball over the crossbar.

Minutes later, the third PK of the match would be awarded to NA. It would be Schupansky who stepped up to take the penalty kick, and once again Yaracs denied the North Allegheny striker with just under 9 minutes left the first overtime.

In the second overtime, a well-played ball found its way to Lucia Wells feet. 

Wells took a touch, then struck the ball fiercely into the net for the win that gave North Allegheny back-to-back Class 4A Championships.

Off to the Rosecliff.

Gameday Updates

GOLDEN GOAL!! NA wins back-to-back WPIAL Class 4A Girls soccer titles!

 

We’ll provide updates here once the game kicks off.

Our coverage team will include Ed Rosensteel (reporting) and Ed Thompson (photography).

Look for the game recap, postgame reaction & photo gallery here after the match.

Key Storylines / Preview 

A very anticipated matchup awaits in 4A of Section 1 foes who only got to play once this year, which Butler won, 3-2. This was a rematch we were robbed of seeing toward the end of the regular season when North Allegheny was subjected to a two-week quarantine due to COVID-19 positives in early October.  Now, the section rivals will have that second match. And this time it’s for the WPIAL Girls Class 4A championship.

Shhhhhhhhh… Butler my favorite secret for the last two years is no longer a secret. The 2-seed has one blemish this season (3-1 loss to Pine-Richland) and got a great test versus a defensive minded Moon team. Now they get the exact opposite to deal with in the championship game. Butler will rely on their goalkeeper Paige Miller to stone the attack and forwards Sam Miller, Gabby Boden and Chloe Weiland to pressure the Tigers defense.

Since that shutdown North Allegheny has come out flying. Using their speed and talent to overtake games for long stretches. Led up top by Sarah Schupansky and a new partner in crime this year Lucia Wells and anchored in the backline by Tulasi Syamala, they limit the opportunities for the opposing team and counter and create their own repeatedly.Let’s not forget as crazy as this season is, they are the defending 4A champions.

North Allegheny are the defending WPIAL champions. They have speed everywhere and it poses a problem for a lot of teams. The Tigers, who were relegated to a 5-seed, have won three straight in the playoffs by 3-0 margins.  The last two wins have been impressive dismantling displays of the past two WPIAL runner-ups, as they didn’t waste any time in soaring past Norwin, scoring twice in the first eight minutes on the way to a one-sided, 3-0 victory.  Anna Bundy and Schupansky scored, along with an own goal gave the Tigers the win vs Norwin in the rematch of last year’s final.  On Saturday, against top-seeded Peters Township, NA once again scored early (Schupansky in the eighth minute), the rolled to the big win. Schupansky added another goal and Lucia Wells picked one up as well in the win.

After a first-round bye, Butler opened the playoffs with an impressive four goal output and shut out of Upper St. Clair in a 4-0 win on Thursday. Chloe Weiland had two goals and Sam Miller and Gabby Boden in the win. Butler averages four goals a game over the season. In the quarterfinal, they had to battle their way through, but eventually pulled out the win in overtime vs a pesky Moon squad when Vanessa Drohan scored the winning goal on a corner kick in the 97th minute. Gabby Boden also scored the goal in regulation.

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