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Mt. Lebanon girls claim title

| Sunday, Nov. 2, 2008

Senior attacking midfielder Sam Kovarik scored two goals to pace Mt. Lebanon to its sixth WPIAL girls soccer championship with a 3-2 victory over Peters Township in Class AAA on Saturday at Elizabeth Forward.

"All along, I've been telling them they're a great team because everybody knows their roles," Mt. Lebanon first-year coach Jeff Holliday said.

"I've said it all year, and I'll say it again: In order to be collectively successful, everybody must be individually effective."

Mt. Lebanon (21-1) advances to the state playoffs along with Peters Township (18-2-2).

"We were very happy to get to the first WPIAL (girls soccer) final in school history, even though our players came here to win," Peters Township and former Mt. Lebanon coach Pat Vereb said.

Class AA boys

Mars 3, Thomas Jefferson 2

Mars knew how to take charge of a championship match.

Junior midfielder Michael Page scored the game-winner early in the second half, and Mars never trailed, capturing its first WPIAL boys soccer title by defeating Thomas Jefferson in the Class AA final at Elizabeth Forward High School.

"Neither team gave up, and we did all we could do to hold them off at the end," Mars coach Chris Knauff said.

"I'm really proud of players. They played their hearts out, and we ended up on top."

The Planets (17-2-2) took the lead on first-half goals by junior Tanner Panza and sophomore Alex Perri, but the Jaguars (18-3-0) tied the game each time, on goals by seniors Alex and Tyler Danzey.

"They scored on a very nice set piece, and that was the difference in the game," Thomas Jefferson coach Doc Kulish said of Page's goal. "Other than that, I thought we fought back after they controlled the first part of the game."

Class A boys

Seton-La Salle 2, Shady Side Academy 0

The old adage that defense wins championships was on display as Seton-La Salle held Shady Side Academy to no shots on goal en route to a victory in the Class A final at Elizabeth-Forward High School.

A goal less than four minutes into the contest by David Del Greco proved to be all the Rebels would need as they won their third WPIAL title.

Seton-La Salle also brought home championships in 2006 and 2002.

The Rebels (21-0) will move on to the PIAA tournament Tuesday against Fairview at a site and time to be determined. Shady Side (19-2-1) also will enter the state tourney Tuesday against Richland, a school from the Johnstown area.

James Del Greco, a cousin of David, added an insurance goal with 25:50 to go, but the key factor was the Rebels defense.

"I'm very happy with the defense we showed today," Seton-La Salle coach Aaron Panczyk said. "We made Shady Side play in the midfield, and the guys in the back really did a great job."

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