Connect with us

High School

Outfoxed: Fox Chapel upset North Allegheny to win WPIAL 4A Championship

It takes a very good plan to beat a very good team. And on Thursday night in the WPIAL 4A Championship match, Fox Chapel had the plan, and executed it to perfection to win the WPIAL 4A title over favorites North Allegheny.

It was Fox Chapel’s first WPIAL soccer title since 1985.

This was a matchup between a Fox Chapel team that had already been defeated at the hand of the Tigers by scores of 4-3 and 3-2 in regular season matches between the two foes. But perhaps that familiarity gave FC coach Carlo Prati all the information he needed to formulate a plan that would finally bring down NA.


While North Allegheny used possession and midfield passing and movement to slowly progress down the pitch throughout most of the match, Fox Chapel played cautious, defensive soccer – regularly dropping deep with seven or eight players behind the ball. After clearing or recovering, the Foxes more than a few times went ‘route one’, bombing a long pass overhead to forwards Alyssa Quakenbush or Kate Friday. Overall, it seemed Fox Chapels gambit was to be defensive, take few risks, and frustrate the favored Tigers until they could find an opening for themselves.

It might have looked like a well executed plan, but it still took game-winning goal scorer Friday by surprise.

Said Friday, “I’m in shock right now.”

Both Fox Chapel and North Allegheny’s tactics produced a few opportunities for each team through the 80 minutes of regulation, but most of the best chances were free kicks just above the box created by fouls or a hand ball. Several of those chances were close, especially a free kick in each half from North Allegheny. Their second half shot would rattle the crossbar. But both teams maintained a clean sheet through full time.

After 80 minutes of nil-nil soccer, the two teams met at center pitch to resume battle into the first golden goal overtime period. Fox Chapel took possession, moved the ball down the left side of the pitch, and then rotated over to senior midfielder Kate Friday. Friday put the ball on her right foot and curled a picture-perfect shot into the top right corner to win the game.

North Allegheny certainly had the talent and the opportunities to win it. Senior forward Abigail Stager was the target all night for passes, through balls, and one-twos from Jadyn Coy, Madison Miller, and Emma Schupansky. But Fox Chapels defenders made it hard all night for the Tigers to get open looks or clean shots on goal.

One way to even the odds against a favored opponent is to frustrate them offensively, be careful, wait till everyone is fatigued, and hope you can make something happen in sudden death OT. It looked like that was the plan for Fox Chapel, and they played it to perfection.

Both teams showed poise and tactical acumen in the match. Both progress on to the PIAA playoffs. Perhaps North Allegheny, denied their fifth WPIAL title in the past six years by the upstart Foxes, will use their disappoint to fuel a run to the state title. For tonight, the team celebrating with the trophy is Fox Chapel, at long last.

Postgame Reaction Videos:

Game-winning goal scorer Kate Friday

Fox Chapel Head Coach Carlo Prati


Photo Gallery

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Minute-to-minute Game Tweets



Note: Might have been Kate Friday. #9 and #8 hard to pick out from press box.








Mark Asher Goodman is a writer for Pittsburgh Soccer Now, covering the Riverhounds, the Pitt Men's and Women's teams, and youth soccer. He also co-hosts a podcast on the Colorado Rapids called 'Holding the High Line with Rabbi and Red.' He has written in the past for the Washington Post, Denver Post, The Athletic, and American Soccer Analysis. When he's not reading, writing, watching, or coaching soccer, he is an actual rabbi. No, really. You can find him on twitter at @soccer_rabbi

Sponsored by Pittsburgh Soccer Summit

Glory on the Grass

Riverhounds MF Kenardo Forbes

Subscribe to PGH Soccer Now

Enter your email address to subscribe to PGH Soccer Now and receive notifications of new posts by email.

More in High School