Sewickley Academy captures WPIAL Class A boys soccer championship
Typically, on nights before big games, senior Anthony Stinson said, the Sewickley Academy boys soccer team will gather at someone's house.
Pasta is served. Someone will bring FIFA 14 for Xbox. Even parents show up.
But with the opportunity to win a WPIAL title for the first time since 2007 and avenge a heartbreaking loss in the PIAA Class A final a season ago, the Panthers did away with the gimmicks.
“We know where we are,” Stinson said. “We wanted to act like we'd been here before.”
Top-seeded Sewickley Academy treated Saturday's WPIAL Class A final against No. 6 Beaver County Christian like any other game, and that meant the Panthers applied pressure early, got a couple goals and cruised to a 3-0 victory at Highmark Stadium.
“Most of these seniors, this is the fourth year (starting) for them,” Sewickley Academy coach James Boone said. “They wanted a gold medal to finish out their senior year.”
Jack Matten scored once, Stinson had one goal of his own and another on a Beaver County Christian own-goal, and Sewickley Academy (17-3) won its sixth WPIAL title.
Sewickley Academy has posted 10 straight wins since a 4-0 loss to Mercyhurst Prep on Sept. 28, outscoring opponents 41-4.
The Panthers will play District 6 champion Bishop McCort in the first round of the PIAA Class A playoffs next Tuesday. Beaver County Christian draws District 9 champion Brockway the same night. Times and sites are yet to be determined.
Beaver County Christian (15-5) was playing in the WPIAL final for the first time in program history, and the Eagles weren't intimidated. Still, Sewickley Academy held Abel Carleton and the rest of Beaver County Christian scoreless.
Matten put Sewickley Academy ahead 1-0 with a header in the 10th minute.
Stinson came up with a loose ball, got his own centering pass back and buried a shot from the right side in the 32nd minute for a 2-0 lead before the own goal gave the Panthers a 3-0 edge at halftime.
Beaver County Christian's Brad Kocak nearly snapped the shutout in the 57th minute by playing a through ball from Carleton, who had scored in every BCC playoff game, but he couldn't tuck the shot inside the far post.
“We've played Sewickley Academy three times now, and they're too good of a team to give away goals to,” BCC coach Steve Warden said. “We didn't have our game (Saturday). We had chances to score. We didn't score.”