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Big Macs shock No. 3 Fox Chapel in WPIAL quarterfinals

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 11:27 p.m.

Once again, a low seed isn't deterring Canon-McMillan in the WPIAL Class AAA soccer title chase.

After winning the WPIAL title last season as a No. 13 seed, the No. 11-seeded Big Macs upset No. 3 Fox Chapel, 1-0, in a quarterfinal match at North Allegheny.

Junior Josh Kruczek's goal with 16:49 left in the first half was the game-winner.

Canon-McMillan (16-2-2) will play No. 7 Peters Township on Monday in the semifinals at a site and time to be determined. The winner will advance to the WPIAL finals, while the loser will play in a consolation game for the final PIAA playoff berth.

Fox Chapel (16-2) was seeking its first semifinal berth since 2008 and its first WPIAL championship since 1995.

The only shot to beat Foxes goalkeeper Jacob Henry snuck in at an awkward angle. Kruczek's shot rolled to Henry's right along the goal line and sneaked to the inside of the pipe.

“It's always tough scoring from that angle,” Kruczek said. “If you don't shoot it, it obviously won't go in.”

Fox Chapel had a number of scoring opportunities but couldn't get anything past Big Macs goalkeeper Christian Snatchko, who made six saves.

“I actually thought we played well the entire second half,” Foxes coach Erik Ingram said inside a somber Fox Chapel locker room. “We outshot them significantly. I thought we absolutely owned the possession and kept them from attacking at all. I was very happy with the way the boys played in the second half.”

Fox Chapel's Charlie Connolly had an excellent opportunity to tie the contest late, but Snatchko dove to his right and the ball went off his fingertips and rolled to the side of the goal.

Jack Dickens split two Canon-McMillan defenders but his shot sailed to the right of the goal.

A dejected Dickens pulled his shirt over his head, stunned that his shot went awry. Hehad another shot turned back with 4:12 to go.

“The boys in the back did well,” Big Macs coach Larry Fingers said. “But kudos to Fox Chapel; they pressured us in the second half.”

Ingram, an eighth-year coach, was proud of the Foxes, who gave up just nine goals on the season.

“We had a great season,” Ingram said. “We had 10 seniors who all contributed. They were fantastic leaders. It's sad, but the season's got to end at some point.”

George Guido is a freelance writer.

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