Burrell boys fall short of section title
TribLIVE Sports Videos
The Burrell boys soccer team had the Section 1-AA title in sight, but Valley's solid defense and several frustrating setbacks stopped the Bucs short Thursday.
Burrell produced more scoring chances, but Valley never buckled under the pressure, and the rivals settled for a 0-0 tie through double overtime — a total of 100 minutes of rough and sometimes controversial action at Buccaneer Stadium.
A foul nullified a Burrell goal late in the second half, and the Bucs also had a shot rebound off the left post early in the first overtime.
With the tie in the regular-season finale, Burrell (12-1-2, 9-1-2) was surpassed by Indiana (12-4, 10-2) in the title race. According to the WPIAL website, a win is worth three points, and a tie worth one.
Valley (9-4-3, 8-1-3), experiencing one of the best seasons in team history, claimed third place.
All three squads qualified for the WPIAL Class AA playoffs, which start next Thursday.
“We'll respond in a positive way,” Burrell coach T.J. Trozzi said. “We'll be fine. We've got to be able to handle this.”
Burrell, ranked No. 5 in Class AA by Trib Total Media, forced the majority of the action into Valley's half of the field. Valley junior keeper Josh Noel made nine saves, including several outstanding stops. His Burrell counterpart, senior Alex White, had three saves.
In corner kicks, Burrell dominated, 8-1. But the Bucs failed to make one of those chances count.
Valley coach Andy DeAntonio praised his team's defensive effort.
“Fantastic,” he said. “All year long, that's been the rock of our team. That's been the way we stay in games and win games.”
The action heated up late in the second half. With about 13:30 to play, Valley junior midfielder Tanner Walker landed a corner kick a few feet in front of the net. After a short scramble, Burrell's defenders cleared the ball.
Burrell immediately went on the attack and took a shot at the lower-right corner of the net about 30 seconds later. Noel dove to his left and pushed the ball away.
With about three minutes left, Burrell junior forward Tom Spagnolo headed the ball into the net following a corner kick by freshman midfielder Corey Mazary. But the celebration ended when the goal was erased by a foul. The referee said a Burrell player pushed a Valley defender during the scramble in front of the goal.
“It's not going to change anything, but I saw something different,” Trozzi said.
Early in the first overtime, Burrell chipped a shot over the head of Noel, who charged out from the goal. The ball bounced toward the goal but hit the left post.
About half a minute later, Valley junior forward Dom Guzzi's shot rolled a few feet outside the left post.
Paul Kogut is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at email@example.com or 724-224-2696.
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.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.