Quaker Valley boys soccer too much for Valley
For the first 55 minutes, Valley's boys soccer team didn't look like a playoff newcomer at all, as the Vikings stymied and frustrated perennial power Quaker Valley.
No. 13-seeded Valley, making its postseason debut, turned away No. 4 Quaker Valley's relentless attack for almost three-fourths of the contest before finally surrendering a goal in a 4-0 loss on Monday night in a WPIAL Class AA first-round game.
Host Quaker Valley (15-3-1), which has made 31 consecutive trips to the WPIAL playoffs, scored its first goal with 24:55 left in the contest at Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.
Valley (10-5-3) performed well defensively but struggled to generate offense, and the nearly constant pressure from Quaker Valley took its toll at the end of the second half. The Quakers dominated the matchup in shots on goal (16-1) and corner kicks (15-0).
Early in the first half, Valley junior goalkeeper Josh Noel set the defensive tone by making a diving stop.
“Josh Noel is top-notch,” Valley coach Andy DeAntonio said. “Some of those saves were tremendous. The defense kept us in the game. They've been doing that all year. I didn't get a sense that they were nervous. They stayed disciplined and on task.”
In the first half, Quaker Valley collected 12 corner kicks and eight shots on goal, while Valley managed only one shot on goal following a free kick. Valley pushed the ball into Quaker Valley's half of the field for only about three of opening 40 minutes.
Quaker Valley broke the scoreless deadlock when sophomore Landon Narkevic scored on an assist by sophomore Adam Richert. In a little more than 10 minutes, the Quakers added two more goals by sophomore Matt Rodgers and senior Dante Piccolo. Senior Matt Regueiro capped the scoring with 4:54 to play.
“They were determined to battle for as long as they could,” Quaker Valley coach Gene Klein said. “They stuck to their game plan to keep it compact and tight (defensively). That made it difficult. You never know what's going to happen in a game like that. You don't want it to go tied for too long.”
Valley hopes to build on this season's success and will graduate only two starters — forward Steve Colagrande and defender Drew Buzzell, one of the standouts among the Vikings' defenders.
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-224-2696.