ShareThis Page

Shaler shocks section champion Pine-Richland

| Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
Pine Creek Journal
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal Shaler's Clint McElheny makes a play on the ball to try to keep Pine-Richland's Pat Sullivan ay bay. McElheny scored the only goal of the game giving the Titans theri biggest win of the season, and handing the Rams their first defeat.
Pine Creek Journal
Louis Raggiunti | Pine Creek Journal Pine-Richland forward Tyler McCarthy and the Rams are playoff bound.

In a game that may not have meant much in regard to the playoff picture or the overall WPIAL boys soccer standings, the Shaler Titans recorded their biggest win of the season and knocked off the previously undefeated section champion Pine-Richland Rams.

Clint McElheny broke a scoreless tie in the first half, and that score proved to be the deciding factor in the game.

“Chad (Palucka) got the ball back to me, and it was me one-on-one with the goalie,” McElheny said. “I put it in the corner for an easy finish.”

The senior's goal may have been of the easier variety, but was not easy was the pressure Pine-Richland put on the Shaler defense in the final 10 minutes of the game in an effort to remain undefeated.

Kirk Zelich was the Titans' keeper, and he said it was the defense in front if him that made the win possible.

“They played great laying out for balls and I have to give the credit to them,” Zelich said.

The senior goalie withstood a furious flurry of shots by the Rams, but having the lead allowed coach Nick Russo to make some defensive adjustments to keep the Rams off the scoreboard.

“I felt we played them well last time (in a 1-0 loss), but this time, we had nothing to lose,” Russo said. “I felt like we played with them the whole game.”

The Titans' playoff aspirations were over, while the Rams wanted to stay out of the loss column. Despite the loss, Pine-Richland coach John Conner said the team can use the loss to refocus for the playoffs.

“We couldn't run down the extra pass (against Shaler) and we played in the air too many times,” Conner said. “We played the flanks well and we wanted to stay undefeated, but it was not in the cards, so we will regroup.”

Jerry Clark is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.