Sewickley Academy wins 3rd PIAA soccer title
HERSHEY — Anthony Stinson was in the right spot at the right time.
As a result, the Sewickley Academy boys soccer team wound up in the place it had been dreaming of: clutching the PIAA Class A championship trophy at Hersheypark Stadium.
Stinson scored a pair of second-half goals — the second after deftly tracking a rebound that had clanked off the crossbar — Friday as Sewickley Academy topped Mountain View, 4-2, to avenge a loss to the Eagles in last year's championship game.
“I was faced with opportunity,” Stinson said. “Senior year, I want to make sure to put it in. Lucky enough, I put it in. Very proud of that.”
Good thing, too, as Mountain View chose to mark J.P. Bowell, the Panthers' offensive leader with 27 goals, and Steve Munn, who had a team-high 15 assists.
Besides Stinson, Connor Zierden scored in the 62nd minute and Matt Teitelbaum added a 77th-minute tally for Sewickley Academy (21-3), which won a sixth WPIAL title this season and was crowned state champion for the third time.
The Panthers scored 16 goals in four PIAA playoff games.
“We had it shut down nicely in that we had J.P. marked out, and we were doing a pretty good job marking Munn out,” said Mountain View coach Roger Thomas, whose team had won 35 straight. “I'd say it came down to a few of them were slightly more polished than a few of my backs.”
Colby Thomas, who has scholarship offers from Boston College, Lehigh and Messiah, scored his 49th goal of the season to give Mountain View a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
Stinson scored cutting across from the left side on a through ball from Bowell in the 60th minute for a 1-1 tie.
A left-footed shot at a rebound that Stinson tucked inside the right post gave Sewickley Academy the lead for good.
“We work on that in practice — not off the crossbar, but fallen shots,” Sewickley Academy coach James Boone said. “If a goalie fumbles the ball or can't hold it, we always have guys going in, crashing the goal and trying to get a goal like that.”
Jack Matten took a high elbow from Thomas moments later, a yellow card that sent Mountain View's best player to the bench. That led to Zierden's goal — a ball he practically punted out of mid-air.
Thomas knocked a ball back to Nick Jarrow, who drove a shot past Jackson O'Neill in the 62nd minute. But Mountain View could never get the equalizer, as Teitelbaum converted a feed from Stinson late.
With 12 seniors on the team and nine in the starting lineup, this was the moment many had waited for, especially after coming so close last season.
“Last year was more of a hope,” Bowell said. “But this year, we knew what we wanted. We knew we could do it.”