Pine-Richland edges Kiski Area boys soccer in shootout
It's been a long week for the Kiski Area soccer team.
The Cavaliers survived two overtime sessions and a shootout Monday, only to lose in the same fashion Thursday night to Pine-Richland in a WPIAL Class AA quarterfinal match.
Pine-Richland won on the penalty kicks, 4-1, to advance to the semifinal round Tuesday night against Upper St. Clair at a site and time to be determined.
The winner goes to the finals while the loser will play in a consolation game to decide the third qualifier for the PIAA tournament.
Kiski Area, the Section 1-AAA champion, concluded its season at 15-3-2.
“I give a lot of credit to the kids,” Cavaliers coach Bob Wright said. “You had 110 minutes played Monday night, 110 more tonight. We battled to create some chances, but it wasn't enough.”
The clinching goal came off the foot of Pine-Richland's goalkeeper, Grant Goldberg.
“Grant's a solid, solid player,” Rams coach Jon Conner said. “He knows the game very well and strikes the ball extremely well. We felt confident in him taking it.”
Tyler McCarthy, Victor Osio and Brendan Bogosta scored the other Pine-Richland goals.
Junior Matt Dziadosz got the lone Kiski Area goal in the shootout.
Both goalkeepers put on a show for the crowd on the newly-installed artificial turf at Penn Hills' Linton Middle School.
Junior Brandon Smail recorded 13 saves for the Cavaliers, some of the acrobatic variety. On two occasions, Smail leaped to prevent a goal. The first was early in the match off a corner kick where the ball caromed off his palm and hit the crossbar. Smail had to catch the ball on the way down to end the sequence.
Later in the first half, a shot by Sean Allen went off Smail's fingertips, over the goal, and out of play.
In the second half, Smail had to stop a misdirected shot off McCarthy's shoulder.
Goldberg was also equal to the task. After a Dutch Shaffer shot got slightly behind Goldberg, he retrieved it before the Cavaliers could get a rebound.
A pass from Osio to Aiden Reuter set up what looked to be an easy goal, but Reuter's attempt hit off Tyler Young to keep the game scoreless.
“You always prepare for it — prepare for that aspect,” Wright said of the scoreless play. “You just let the game play out and our defense hunkered in. I told the kids after the game I was proud to be part of their team.”
Both goalkeepers embraced near the shootout goal right after the long evening ended.
George Guido is a freelance writer.