Austin Ridgley stood over the ball sitting 20 yards away from the Greensburg Central Catholic net and knew if he hit it right, he could score the biggest goal in Riverside boys soccer history.
“I was thinking either cross or shot,” Ridgley said. “I just said ‘shot,' and I put it on target.”
And he made no mistake.
Ridgley bent a direct free kick just inside the far post with 6 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in the second overtime to give 10th-seeded Riverside (16-4-1) a dramatic 2-1 victory over No. 4 Greensburg Central Catholic (15-5-1) in the WPIAL Class A championship game at Baldwin Stadium.
“That was (the shot) I went for,” Ridgley said. “Then all I could think was that we were WPIAL champs.”
Coming into this year, only three schools — Greensburg Central Catholic, Seton-La Salle and Sewickley Academy — had won Class A titles since the classification was added in 2000.
“I didn't know that, and it's phenomenal for these guys,” Riverside coach Ben Huth said. “At the beginning of the year … I don't know if I would have put us in the championship game or the final four, but I knew we had a great team.”
Both teams qualified for the PIAA Class A playoffs and will play Tuesday. Greensburg Central Catholic will play either Westmont-Hilltop or Bishop McCort, while Riverside will get either Brockway or Karns City.
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.
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