WPIAL Soccer Boys Class 1A Championship
FINAL: Winchester Thurston 3, Charleroi 2
WINCHESTER THURSTON: Musekamp (GK), Daboo, Koeppl, Koll, Tuti, Akdogan, Hauskrecht, Poller-Prince, Miller, Leibovich, Votroba-Drzal
CHARLEROI: Mazon (GK), Jake Chambers, Barcus, Pringle, Klinger, Patterson, Joel Chambers, Large, McIntyre, Patterson, Burkholder
2′ – The Bears come out in a 4-5-1 to counter the Cougars’ 4-4-2. Winchester Thurston earns the game’s first free kick from the top of the center third, but after a blocked shot and a subsequent miss, the Cougars have a goal kick.
4′ – GOAL TO THE BEARS! Just too much pressure on Charleroi deep in their own box, and WT’s Jordan Poller-Prince smashes a rebound from the left elbow into the far corner of the net! WT 1-0 CC
11′ GOAL TO THE COUGARS! Moments after an attempt from the top of the center third(!) rings off the crossbar, Bryce Large comes up large with a distant rocket that goes over the outstretched hands of Adrian Musekamp! WT 1-1 CC
22′ – Oliver Daboo, last year’s state final hero, with some gorgeous dribbling all the way down the right flank, but his deep cross goes by everybody for a Charleroi throw-in. WT 1-1 CC
30′ – Landon Barcus creates some space in the attacking third, but his low, dribbling strike from above the box goes wide to the right of goal. Feels like the first scoring chance in a while for the Cougars. WT 1-1 CC
33′ – GOAL TO THE BEARS! Alex Hauskrecht pulls up to the edge of the arc and blasts a low line-drive inside the near post that stuns a motionless Nate Mazon! Nice hit by the Riverhounds Academy product! WT 2-1 CC
Halftime at Highmark, Winchester Thurston 2-1 Charleroi. The Cougars survive another tense moment, deep in the box, after some very crisp ball movement by the Bears before the horn.
Technotronic’s “Pump Up the Jam” serenades us, of varying generations, in the press box. Godspeed, Ya Kid K, wherever you are. (If this is your doing, WPIAL communications aide Ethan Woy, then, well played, sir.)
Well, apropos of my previous comment, the Bears were “hip,” and “hopping,” throughout that first half, though team stats look fairly even. Charleroi did a nice job breaking down WT in the defensive third. But it needs to find some high-percentage scoring chances to get back into this.
50′ – Oh boy…Hauskrecht nearly scores a golazo off a free kick from the left wing after enduring a flagrant foul. The follow-up is punched aside by a desperate Mazon to keep the Cougars within reach. WT 2-1 CC
56′ – Tough break for Hauskrecht, who is now shown yellow for a challenge in the Charleroi half on which he appeared–and sounded–to get all ball. Could this be the break the Cougars needed? WT 2-1 CC
61′ – GOAL TO THE COUGARS! Musekamp dives to his right to make a save on Jake Chambers from within the box, but he coughs up a rebound to Joel Chambers, who brings Charleroi level! WT 2-2 CC
63′ – GOAL TO THE BEARS! DABOOOOOOOOOOO! He absolutely rips it from the top of the attacking third, and all Mazon can do is jump up and touch the fire tails on the back of that ball from Oliver Daboo, the Riverhounds Academy wunderkind! WT 3-2 CC
75′ – A tense moment for the Bears, as Dylan Klinger’s corner kick from the left flag is headed right into the stomach of Musekamp. Can the Bears hold on for back-to-back titles? WT 3-2 CC
GRIN AND BEAR IT, THE BEARS ARE CHAMPS AGAIN! Winchester Thurston holds on to defeat stubborn Charleroi, 3-2, for its second straight WPIAL Boys 1A Soccer title! More to come…
Winchester Thurston are looking to win back-to-back WPIAL titles, but they’ll face a stern test from No. 8 seed Charleroi, who knocked off both the No. 1 and No. 4 seeds, Greensburg Central Catholic and Eden Christian, to get to their first-ever WPIAL Soccer Championship game.
The No. 2 seeded Bears have managed their way through the season, not quite as impressive as last season’s undefeated campaign, finding a few losses along the way (to Class 4A North Allegheny and to section rival Springdale), but when things have mattered most, they’ve pulled through to win another Section title and have turned things up to another level in the playoffs to get back to Highmark Stadium. In the semifinal round, they were also pushed by a strong Eden Christian side, but eventually Tomer Tuti scored the game-winning goal in the first overtime. The Riverhounds Academy connection of all-state Alex Hauskrecht and Oliver Daboo, who scored the golden goal in the PIAA Championship game last year, have led their school to unprecedented heights in the past four years. Hauskretcht led the Bears’ scoring with 22 goals in the regular season and Daboo has been the assist machine for WT.
Charleroi have shown remarkable resilience, as they were topped twice this season by section rival, and top seeded Greensburg Central Catholic, yet they found a way to earn a 3-2 win when it matter most, in the Quarterfinal round.
Dropping down to Class A due to PIAA realignment this season. Charleroi’s only two losses were to Greensburg Central Catholic, who they finished runner up in Section 2.
Otherwise, against Class 1A competition, the Cougars haveoutscored opponents 93-22 this season.
The Cougars are led by Bryce Large (21 goals) and Arlo McIntyre (18). McIntyre, the brother of current Pitt player, Eben McIntyre, scored in the semifinal win vs Eden Christian.
These are two teams capable of scoring a lot of goals, but they’ve also survived playoff tests where they’ve had to grind out victories. If both sides come out looking to get on the front foot, this match could very well become an open-ended shootout.
Team Profiles & How They Got To Highmark
Winchester Thurston (Defending WPIAL Champions; Section 3 Champions)
Head Coach – Adam Brownold
- 1st Round – def California, 8-1
- Quarterfinal Rd – def Serra Catholic, 4-0
- Semifinal Rd – def Sewickley Academy, 4-3
Charleroi (Section 2 Runner-Up)
Head Coach – Jonathan Ducoli
- 1st Round – def Freedom, 2-0
- Quarterfinal Rd. – def Greensburg Central Catholic, 3-2
- Semifinal Rd. – def Eden Christian, 1-0
PSN Recent Coverage of Boys Class 1A Soccer
Past Class 1A WPIAL Championships Coverage