ShareThis Page

Overtime score leads Bethel Park past Central Catholic

| Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, 10:30 p.m.

Matt Kotkiewicz didn't give up on the play.

As a result, the Bethel Park boys soccer team doesn't have to give up on its season.

Kotkiewicz chased down a bouncing ball and scored off a rebound 92 seconds into the first overtime period to carry the Black Hawks to a 2-1 victory over No. 4 Central Catholic in a WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinal at Baldwin.

Central Catholic defender Zane Stiles challenged to break up the play, but despite the effort, the ball ricocheted off of him and past goalkeeper Oscar Marroquin, an unlucky play for Central Catholic.

“I just touched it and kept running through it,” said Kotkiewicz, a junior midfielder. “Gotta stay with the ball. I got the rebound, and it went in.”

The win was the second emotional one for Bethel Park this week. In the first round, the Black Hawks topped Kiski Area on penalty kicks.

“We wanted nothing more than to get a playoff win,” goalkeeper Quentin Keibler said. “Now we have a chance to go to states.”

Keibler made 11 saves and was nothing short of spectacular for Bethel Park on a night where Central Catholic dominated play for large chunks of time.

Not that he wanted any credit for it.

“It was pretty busy,” Keibler said. “But we put in two to their one and got the win. Everybody plays a part. I just played mine.”

Bethel Park advanced to Monday's semifinal round and will play No. 1 Upper St. Clair, site and time to be determined.

Central Catholic, which split the Section 4-AAA title with Fox Chapel, finished 14-4-1.

Central Catholic's Ryan Sproule turned and fired a powerful shot in the 13th minute, one Keibler tracked perfectly and stopped.

Forward Sergio Vazquez put the Black Hawks ahead, 1-0, in the 26th minute by finishing a cross.

The play was kept alive along the left sideline with an alert keep-in from Kotkiewicz.

Central Catholic midfielder Justin Beiriger executed a beautiful, give-and-go play with fellow midfielder Jarod McDowell in the 54th minute, but Beiriger's shot sailed wide right, preserving Bethel Park's 1-0 lead.

Keibler made an even more impressive save a few minutes later, robbing Matt O'Donnell, who had the only goal to down Ringgold in the first round, from just over 20 yards.

Sproule finally converted in the 75th minute when a loose ball rolled behind Keibler.

From only a few yards out, all Sproule had to do was hammer it home for a goal.

“Bethel Park is a good team, but I thought tonight we were better,” Central Catholic coach Claudio Morini said. “But that's sometimes just the way soccer goes.”

Kotkiewicz could attest to that.

His goal, heavy on effort but light on normalcy, proved that perfectly.

“Just a little spurt up the field,” Kotkiewicz said. “We got our chance, and we finished.”

Jason Mackey is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Mackey_Trib.

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.