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Tiger Draw: Keepers shine in North Allegheny, Moon scoreless opener

Photo courtesy North Allegheny Athletics / Randy Gore

In the battle of Tigers, neither North Allegheny or Moon Township could not get a bite at goal after 100 minutes, with the opening match of the Pine-Richland JRK Memorial Classic ending in 0-0 draw.

Both sides weren’t without their chances.

And both starting goalkeepers came up with big saves to keep the combined clean sheet.

North Allegheny’s junior keeper Dante Accamando stood tall, especially in the first half when Moon was on the front foot.

Accamando made three saves in the first half that kept the clean sheet.

In the 17th minute, the 6-foot-5 Accamando used every inch of his frame to extend his arms and fingertips to deny Davi Jansson’s attempt from 12 yards.  

“It was a cross that came in, and got past everyone,” Accamando said. “He went bottom right, and I extended my hand, and barely got it.”

At the half, Moon was in the drivers seat, with seven shots, three on frame and they carried much of the possession with University of Akron commit Ryan Kopay extending possessions and delivering balls to forwards, Jansson, Ryan Hildenbrand and Chris Brancato that were stretching North Allegheny’s back line.

Accamando and the NA back line held firm, while their attack was limited to two shots and one on frame in the first half.

In the second half, the script started to flip, especially in the latter stages.  North Allegheny started to use the width of the field a bit more, and started to create chances as the match started to open up.

Five minutes into the second half, NA’s Brendan Angermeier had a well-timed run toward the box on a long free kick, enabling the senior striker to direct a well-placed header with pace which forced Moon keeper Zachary Shutak to elevate and punch the ball over the bar.

In the 55th minute, Accamando was up to his tricks again, using his length and quick reflexes to deny Hildenbrand’s attempt after the Moon forward blew past a pair of NA center backs.

Zach Nash and Luke Brady provided additional pressure in the closing stages of the first half, as Shutak needed to make a few more saves.

In extra time, the best chances for either side came for NA.

In the 82nd minute of the match, Shutak came off his line to secure a high boucing the ball, which slipped through his hands and behind him.  Fortunately for Moon, with defenders shielding NA attackers, Shutak was able to quickly recover and grab the ball.

The best chance in extra time came in the 88th minute when Brady’s shot from the left side banged off the crossbar, leading to a scrum in front of goal with a few more shot attempts that were blocked.

“It was a good battle, and both teams walked away without and loss, and with something to build on,” Moon’s Head Coach Earl Pannebaker said. “North Allegheny had a little more depth than us today, and it showed late in the match.”

Accamando credited his teammates for weathering the early storm and coming on strong as the match went on.

“We put in a lot of work in preseason and in conditioning,” Accamando said.

“Overall it was a good performance. We could have finished a few of our chances, but for the most part, we’ll take it.”

 

FINAL: MOON 0, NORTH ALLEGHENY 0 (2OT) – MATCH UPDATES 

12 Noon – Moon and North Allegheny have kicked off.

15′ — Through first 15 minutes, pretty evenly played match. Moon earns first corner, and ball to middle of box provides a clean header chance for Dominic Corrado, but

NA”s GK Dante Accamando with easy save.

17′ — Great save by NA’s keeper, Dante Accamando, extending and making fingertip save on a point blank chance from Moon’s Davi Jansson. 

28′ — Moon keeping knocking on door. After foul outside box, they nearly connect on free kick, but Ryan Hildenbrand’s ball in just misses Chris Brancato, who got through his run unmarked. 

30′ — Manuel Montero, NA’s new coach (replacing longtime HC Bobby Vosmaer), gets a warm welcome to #WPIALSoccer after contesting a call, is booked for a yellow card.

HALF – Moon 0, North Allegheny 0

Moon with seven shots, three on frame and have carried much of the possession too. NA’s keeper Dante Accamando has been solid, and they’ve found a few chances but only two shots and one on frame.

45′ (2nd half) — Long ball over to Hildenbrand, and it’s between the Moon forward and NA’s keeper, Accamando, who comes off his line to deny a shot attempt. Solid play by the junior GK.

55′ — Moon gets through again splitting center back (looked like Hildenbrand), this time shot saved by Dante Accamando who extends his left hand in nick of time.

57′ — NA now lines up a free kick from 45 yds. Brendan Angermeier times run perfectly — delivers looping and well placed header with pace that forces Moon keeper Zachary Shutak to elevate and punch over bar. Things picking up and going back and forth now.

65′ — Things continue to open up, now NA ‘s Zach Nash gets behind Moon defender, and hard shot toward center of goal is knocked away by GK Zachary Shutak, who quickly got back into position for save.

74′ — NA continuing to turn up the attack. This time Luke Brady’s shot from just inside left side of box bends but doesn’t beat Moon keeper Shutak who grabs it.

79’ — It’s all NA in the closing moments getting a corner — comes from Ben Christian for Luke Brady, who’s been everywhere the past few minutes — header on goal is saved.

END OF REGULATION: NA 0, Moon 0
Moon gets a corner in dying seconds but it’s well defended by NA — and we’re headed to some bonus extra time soccer here at Pine-Richland!
Scary for a second there for Moon as Shutak comes off line to play ball and its slips through his hands, but thanks to defenders shielding NA attackers, they are able to quickly recover.
88′ (1OT) – Crazy sequence for NA with about three shots in 10 seconds, one hitting the bar — but Moon survives.
FINAL (2OT):  North Allegheny 0, Moon 0
A battle of atrition ends in nil-nil draw.

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).

Riverhounds MF Danny Griffin

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