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Peters Township marches to another Class AAA title

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Kim Stepinsky | For The Tribune-Review
(from left), Seneca Valley's, Paige Montrose, and Peters Township's, Veronica Latsko, battle for ball possession during the girls soccer championship game, held at Elizabeth Forward High School stadium on Saturday evening, November 3, 2012. Peters Township won the match 2-1 in overtime.
Top high school sports
By Ray Judy
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, 9:56 p.m.

The Peters Township girls soccer program may be approaching dynasty status.

The top-seeded Indians won their third WPIAL Class AAA title since 2005 with a dramatic 2-1, double-overtime victory over No. 2 Seneca Valley (19-2) at Elizabeth Forward on Saturday.

Peters Township (20-1) will seek to win its third straight PIAA title when it enters the state playoffs Tuesday.

“Believe it or not, the WPIAL title is our number one goal,” Peters coach Pat Vereb said. “It's nice to go to states, but to be able to win on your own turf in front of your peers is a big deal.”

Junior forward Veronica Latsko, a Virginia recruit, headed in a corner kick from Rachel Troscinski with 8 seconds remaining in the second overtime to secure the victory for Peters.

“Rachel crossed the perfect ball, and I just stuck my head out,” Latsko said.

Seneca Valley opened the scoring in the first half when senior Morgan Williams drove a free kick from 30 yards out to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.

“It was nice to go up one,” Seneca Valley coach Dave Sylvester said. “I think it stunned them a bit, but it was almost like kicking a hornets' nest.”

Those angry hornets ultimately responded but not until late in the second half. With two minutes to go in regulation, Madison Santo scored to tie the game, 1-1.

“We really had to struggle to get the game back into our grips,” Vereb said. “Once we tied it, we relaxed a little bit.”

Most of the reason for that struggle was Seneca Valley sophomore goalie Jessica Neill. Peters outshot Seneca, 21-8, and Neill made a number of marquee saves to keep her team in the game.

“She's sick,” Sylvester said. “If she was 6-feet tall, there isn't a school in the country that wouldn't snag her up. I don't why you wouldn't take her at 5-foot-2. She's made some saves this year that six footers wouldn't have made.”

Seneca Valley will also turn its eyes to the PIAA playoffs, where the Raiders will meet the champion from District 6, 9 or 10.

Ray Judy is a freelance writer.

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