Sewickley Academy still has work to be done
TribLIVE Sports Videos
From forever finished at the final four to finally in the final.
For the fourth consecutive postseason tournament, the Sewickley Academy boys soccer team advanced to the semifinals. For the first time over that span, the Panthers got through to a championship game.
After losing in the WPIAL and PIAA Class A semifinals last season and being eliminated in this season's WPIAL semifinal as well, Sewickley Academy got past the semifinals in the PIAA tournament earlier this week.
The Panthers beat Biglerville, 3-0, on Tuesday to advance to their fourth PIAA championship game. Sewickley Academy (21-1-1) plays District 2 champion Mountain View at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Hersheypark Stadium.
“They got really close to the state final last year but just couldn't get over that little hump there in the semifinals,” Panthers coach James Boone said. “But I think the experience of being there before helped us.
“We have players who are really excited to go to Hershey and hopefully bring a title back to the western part of the state.”
The run to the PIAA title game is helping Sewickley Academy maintain its first place spot in the Trib Total Media/WPXI High School Sports Award Class A standings.
Sewickley Academy has allowed only six goals in 23 games this season, including only four goals against in its 21 victories.
The Panthers have beaten two district champions in the PIAA playoffs, a Class AAA team (Moon) and what was, at the time, the reigning WPIAL Class A champion (Seton-La Salle) during the regular season.
With a roster that included eight returning starters from the WPIAL and PIAA semifinalist team of a year ago, Sewickley Academy always has had every reason to believe it had the capability to make it this far.
“We're a confident team,” said senior defender Max Proie, a team co-captain. “We're not overconfident, we're not cocky, but we know what our skill level is, we know how to play, and we know how we stack up against other teams.”
Sewickley Academy, which has won PIAA titles in 1997 and 2007, starts four seniors: Proie, defender Rob Nogay, goalie Hayden Moyer and forward/midfielder Jake Mullholland.
The junior class is just as strong, featuring forwards J.P. Bowell and Anthony Stinson, midfielder Steve Munn and defender Jack Matten.
Bowell has 28 goals.
“He's not the biggest guy on the field, but I tell you what, he's very tough to knock off the ball,” Boone said. “He has good athleticism, and he's been around the sport all his life, so that experience helps. He's been starting since his freshman year, so he knows what it takes to win. His knowledge of the game is very, very good. He sees things other kids don't see, and that's what makes him stand out on the soccer field.”
Still, Bowell's finishing ability would go to waste without skilled set-up men. Sewickley Academy has that all over the field, even among its younger players, Boone said. The Panthers' three new starters this season were freshmen.
“Our whole team, top to bottom, has been very good,” Boone said. “We're very happy with where our players are.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Garoppolo baffles Steelers
- State Dems broke ties with political consultant days before FBI raids
- Worker injured when excavator backs over him in Kittanning
- Pirates acquire pitcher Blanton from Royals for cash
- Peduto blasts Wolf’s plan to borrow $3B to shore up pensions
- Man with handgun robs Fayette County bar, patron
- Cardinals add outfielder Moss in trade with Indians
- ‘Greed is not criminal,’ says judge in McCullough trial
- Avonmore mayor to resign after being charged with theft
- Tight ends’ role in Steelers passing game continues to lessen but players remain selfless
- Multiple delays to slow travel between Alle-Kiski Valley, Greensburg