Beaver scores in double OT to oust Deer Lakes in quarterfinals
There were some close calls for Deer Lakes in regulation, but each time it looked like the Lancers were in position to score a goal it just didn't happen.
When Beaver's Aidan Perez got his opportunity to score in double overtime he made the most of it with a golden goal.
Perez took a nice pass from Nicholas Gengarella and slipped a shot past a diving Jesse Greyshock, and the ball rolled along the goal line before finally sliding into the net with 8 minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the second overtime to give No. 12 Beaver a 1-0 victory over No. 4 Deer Lakes in the WPIAL Class AA quarterfinals Wednesday at Seneca Valley's Nextier Stadium.
The Bobcats (8-8-3) advanced to play top-seeded Quaker Valley on Saturday.
After a rather quiet first overtime, Beaver broke free with a couple of nice passes before Perez, a senior, found the back of the net.
“We did not want to come down to chance, and that's what (penalty kicks) are,” Beaver coach Scott Hazuda said. “We felt early on we were getting the better of the play, but we weren't able to put the ball in the back of the net. We knew they were a good team with a good goalkeeper, but we felt if we stayed after it we would get the job done.
“It really was a team effort. It was great that Aidan was able to get on that last ball and finish it, but we really don't look to one guy to score. We look for everyone to pitch in, and you never know who is going to step up.”
Deer Lakes coach Jordan Wiegand was ejected with six seconds remaining in regulation during a discussion with the officials after a yellow card was issued to Ryan Butler for kicking the ball away from a Beaver player who was trying to make a throw in.
“(The ref) came over and my assistant said something. Instead of giving him the (red) card he gave it to me,” Wiegand said. “Then I asked him a question and he gave me a yellow straight away. There's nothing you can do there.”
The Lancers (11-4-2) had seven corner kicks and were turned away each time.
Three of them came in a row early in the second half. On the first one, a shot by Devin Murray was deflected out of bounds. The ball pinballed around on the second one and came to rest behind Beaver goalie Daniel Hughes, but there were defenders there to kick it out. Hughes jumped out and caught the ball on the third attempt. Eric Franciscus had a shot go just over the bar from inside the box in the 72nd minute.
“I feel like we had our opportunities, but we just needed to capitalize,” Wiegand said. “On one of the corners we just missed one in front of the net. I thought the bounces didn't go our way, but you got to take your hat off to Beaver. They're a good team, and I wish them nothing but the best.”
It's the second time in the last three years that Beaver has made the semifinals as a double-digit seed.
“For whatever reason in years past we've had higher seeds and didn't have good fortune,” Hazuda said. “The last couple of years we've embraced this underdog role, and it's been fun.”
Beaver controlled possession for the majority of the first half, but the Lancers limited the Bobcats' chances. The best scoring chance for the Bobcats came in the 11th minute when Nicholas Gengarella had a shot go off the side of his foot from 15 yards out that was stopped by Greyshock.
Deer Lakes' best opportunity in the first half came in the 13th minute, when Hughes came off his goal line to punch the ball away on the Lancers' first corner of the night. The Bobcats defended a line drive that didn't reach the box on a second corner in the 22nd minute.
The Lancers showed why they had shut out nine of their last 10 opponents with a strong defense and good goalkeeping by Greyshock. Coming into the game, Deer Lakes had allowed eight goals all year.
Deer Lakes returns eight starters next season and the lessons learned in the tough loss could provide a building block for the future.
“This will at least give us some valuable experience,” Wiegand said. “It's an experience that not many teams will have as young as we are. There are a lot of positives they can take out of this moving forward.”
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer.