Sewickley Academy boys lose heartbreaker in state final
HERSHEY — Sewickley Academy didn't get many clean shots against Mountain View in the PIAA Class A championship game, but trailing by a goal with just more than 11 minutes remaining in regulation, Panthers forward Jake Mulholland cranked one up from 20 yards out.
For a moment, it appeared the ball was ticketed for the upper-right corner of the net to tie the game.
That was until Eagles keeper Bobby Pfahl made the save of the game and Mountain View's season.
He leaped to his left and just got his left hand on the ball to deflect it wide and protect the Eagles 1-0 victory over Sewickley Academy (21-2-1) and clinch the school's first state team championship in any sport.
“If he doesn't make the save, it's a goal,” Sewickley Academy coach James Boone said. “The keeper just made a great save. It was a great rip, but it just wasn't our night.”
Pfahl's save completely changed the dynamic of the Sewickley Academy attack. Mountain View (18-0-0), the District 2 champion, immediately packed it in defensively and took away any chances of quick breaks and counterattacks.
“We probably have six to eight of the hardest hitters, and we both have brilliant shooters, and you can't allow space, and we didn't give them any,” Mountain View coach Roger Thomas said. “We were lucky because they did get some shots off, but with the pressure, you tend to duff, but the kid ripped the good one, and Bobby got five fingers over in the corner, and that was the game right there.”
What made that save all the more impressive was that it was in a critical situation made all the more desperate after Mountain View junior Austin Mack scored the only goal of the game with 28:51 remaining in regulation. Junior Colby Thomas broke down the left wing and threw a backdoor pass to Mack cutting right down the middle, and he drove the ball into the center of the net.
Keith Barnes is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-664-9161 Ext. 1977.