Quaker Valley boys soccer head coach JJ Veshio has made his share of trips to Hershey as a player and assistant coach, but this coming weekend, he’ll be leading his school and the ultra-successful high school boys soccer program to the PIAA Boys Soccer Class 2A Championship for the first time as Head Coach.
In his first season as head coach of the program, the Quakers were forced to end their season due to COVID-19 positive tests.
This year, taking nothing for granted, they returned to the top of the WPIAL Class 2A boys soccer mountain, and have taken a final step to once again capturing PIAA gold.
“It never gets old,” Veshio said, after the Quakers defeated North Catholic, 2-0, on Tuesday evening at Martorelli Stadium in West View. “This journey is difficult, depending on the players, the season, and so, it’s such a cliche, but it’s such a very, very sweet trip, and especially after what happened last year and I am so very proud of this team.”
Having picked apart North Catholic for a 5-0 win in the WPIAL Championship game on November 4, and with convincing victories in the regular season against its section rival, the Quakers faced an improved and well-prepared Trojans side determined to pull the upset.
“The nature of the game, being that it was PIAA State semfinal,” Veshio explained. “They’re a very good team. They’re well coached. This is exactly what you wanted out of a state semifinal. When you get this far, you throw the records out. You throw the previous results out. We knew it was going to be tight, just like it was with other teams in our section. This is the fourth time we played them. They know our tendencies.”
Ed Thompson Photo Gallery (Quaker Valley vs North Catholic – PIAA Boys Class 2A Semifinal)
The first thing the Trojans did trie to take away Keller Chamovitz shooting opportunities, swarming the WPIAL finals hero, who scored four times in the District title match.
Still, the Quakers found a way to get the job done and Chamovitz still got some shots away.
The QV goals came from Ryan Edwards and Carter Turk, with assists coming from Chamovitz and Rowan Kriebel.
North Catholic: 0
QV will play Lewisburg in the AA state finals on Friday at 1:30pm at Hershey. pic.twitter.com/s55LwDFtnX
— Quaker Valley Boys Soccer (@qv_soccer) November 17, 2021
The Quakers goals came 19-seconds apart.
Edwards opened the scoring in the 33rd minute, following a Chamovitz shot from the same place where he scored twice in the WPIAL final, but the shot was saved but not secured. The ball bounced right to Edwards, who had trailed his teammate by a few feet during the entire sequence.
And sure enough, Edwards chipped a shot into the back of the net to give the Quakers their first point of the night.
In the celebration that followed, Chamovitz was booked (and sent off for five minutes) with a yellow card.
Then Turk doubled the lead to put North Catholic (14-9-0) in position to chase the match for the final 45 plus minutes.
The Quakers controlled possession and tempo to keep the Trojans from getting one back.
Of course, they’re just glad to get the win.
Quaker Valley (22-2-0) moves onto the state championship match for the second time in three years as they did win the 2019 title, but had to miss out on its quest in 2020 due to aforementioned COVID-19 positive tests.
The Quakers will be making its 16th appearance in the PIAA finals, as they’ll be facing Lewisburg on Friday afternoon (1:30 p.m. kickoff).
Look for PSN’s coverage this weekend, which will include on-site updates from Hershey from Jordan Smith.