Fox Chapel, Shady Side Academy claim WPIAL field hockey crowns
Two WPIAL finals produced two overtime finishes.
Fox Chapel won its first WPIAL field hockey title since 1997 by knocking off defending champion Penn-Trafford, 1-0, in the Class AAA final at North Allegheny.
Shady Side Academy defended its Class AA title, 2-1, over Sewickley Academy.
Sammi Pitz scored for Fox Chapel with 3:09 remaining in overtime, when Katie Hardiman flipped a bouncing ball toward the front of the net from the right wing. The ball took an awkward bounce off the pads of P-T goalie Harry Miller and fell to the stick of Pitz, who fired it into the open goal.
The win for Fox Chapel came after Penn-Trafford dominated play for most of the game. The Warriors finished with an 18-1 edge in penalty corners, but the Foxes were able to repel Penn-Trafford each time.
“Our girls never quit,” Fox Chapel coach Jen McCrady said. “They're a very talented team, but for some reason we're waiting for the second half to show up. They've managed to stay in these (playoff) games with their heart, drive and determination.”
Fox Chapel goalie Alaina George made six saves, including a critical stop of P-T leading scorer Amanda Steffey on a breakaway earlier in overtime.
In the first final, Sydney Mordoh scored 5:41 into overtime to give Shady Side Academy its second straight WPIAL championship. Mordoh's winning goal came on her team's second penalty corner of overtime, and she scored with a shot from the top of the circle that lightly touched a Sewickley stick and sailed into the top-left corner of the net.
“Sydney played awesome. Any time she got the ball, we were moving down the field,” Shady Side Academy coach Erin Weir said. “Every time we got a corner, I was sending it to her.”
“The play was to me, and we ran (the same play) twice,” Mordoh said. “I wanted it so badly because this is my senior year, and it's my last time with this team.”
Mordoh created the Indians' first goal with a long-range hit from the right side into traffic in front of the goal. Isabel Aiken was on the back post to redirect the ball into the net and give the Indians the lead after 11 minutes.
Alexis Bosilovic tied the game for Sewickley Academy early in the second half with an individual run that began 35 yards from goal. The Panthers' forward carried the ball into the right side of the circle and fired the ball off a defender and into the net from a sharp angle.
Bosilovic had a chance to score the game winner on a penalty stroke with 11:22 left in regulation, but goalie Gabby Harchelroad made the save going to her right on the shot from 7 yards.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.