Seneca Valley girls dethrone Peters Township for WPIAL title
For the second consecutive year, a late corner kick determined the outcome of the WPIAL Class AAA championship game in girls soccer.
This one went to top-seeded Seneca Valley. Maybe next year will be the rubber match.
A year after Veronica Latsko's header gave Peters Township the title late in double overtime, Caroline Miller finished a feed from Alicia Hart in the 77th minute to lift the Raiders to a 1-0 win at Highmark Stadium.
“Alicia does the best corners,” Miller said. “I just get in position, it comes right to my head and I get it in the goal.”
Seneca Valley had tilted the field before scoring on its fifth corner kick, a play the Raiders converted quite often this season.
“We had a lot of good chances right in a row,” Hart said. “I figured one had to go in eventually.”
Seneca Valley (18-2-1) will play Bethel Park, the consolation-game winner, in the first round of the PIAA Class AAA playoffs Tuesday, site and time to be determined. Peters Township (16-5-1) will face District 1 champion State College the same night.
Miller got a head on Seneca Valley's second corner kick, but her attempt bounced high and over the goal in the 26th minute.
Senior midfielder MaryKate Zahorchak made a powerful run through the middle about 15 minutes into the second half, though her shot attempt was knocked away.
“There's a reason why they were the No. 1 seed,” Peters Township coach Pat Vereb said.
Seneca Valley failed to convert two chances in the 64th minute.
Sophomore midfielder Megan Majeski had a clean shot at a rebound, but her bid sailed high. With an open look after an aggressive challenge from Peters Township goalkeeper Megan Parker, midfielder Sarah Anderson slid a shot wide right.
“They wore us out,” Vereb said. “We struggled to get out of our end. You continue to give up corner kicks and throw-ins, and they're dangerous on both. Eventually, it can haunt you.”
Just not in the way Raiders coach Dave Sylvester expected.
Peters Township played to penalty kicks in the quarterfinals and semifinals, and Sylvester listened to both earlier Friday to scout the Indians' tendencies.
Miller and Hart made sure overtime wasn't necessary.
“I'm so happy for them,” Sylvester said of his team, which won its third WPIAL title, all since 2007. “It's a great accomplishment.”
Latsko, who has been out all season with a torn ACL, was listed as a starter, took the field for warm-ups and lined up as a starter pregame — but didn't start.