WPIAL Boys Soccer Class 3A Final
FINAL: Hampton 1, West Allegheny 0
In a battle of the top two seeded, senior laden teams who were undefeated against all competition in their classification, the Hampton Talbots earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory against top-seeded West Allegheny in the WPIAL Boys Class 3A soccer final at Highmark Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
In a tight contest, it was Hampton’s Zack Panza who came through with the match’s two biggest plays on both ends of the field. Panza broke a scoreless affair in the 65th minute with a vicious header coming from a corner kick, then made a goal line clearance that denied West Allegheny’s best chance to equalize the match.
“Two goal line clearances, scored the game-winning goal, you can’t ask anything more from a player,” Matt McAwley, Hampton’s Head Coach said. “These boys have had this dream since they were back in middle school. For them to come in here, play for a WPIAL title, and play the best game they have all season, to beat an undefeated team, it’s a testament to their work ethic and all they do, not only in the high school season, but in the off season as well.”
It was the first WPIAL boys soccer title for Hampton since 2011, when they won back-to-back, while West Allegheny, who have won a state championship in 2018, remain a bit snakebit in the district final.
It was the third loss in the past four years in WPIAL championship games for West Allegheny, who came into this match with a perfect 21-0 record and ranked number one in the state.
“Every other team in the WPIAL would love to be here,” Kevin Amos, West Allegheny Head Coach said. “It’s a great experience, win or lose. Right now it hurts, but you remember it the rest of your life. They’ll be upset, but we’ll get back. Get ready, and like in 2018, we’ll make a run to the state championship.”
Ed Thompson Photo Gallery
Post Match Reaction
How It Happened
Look for a more detailed match report to follow later Saturday/Sunday as time permits.