Adam Brewer | Observer-Reporter
From the moment the 2017 girls soccer season ended, one of the the Peters Township’s main goals for the this fall was to repeat as champion in the most competitive section in the WPIAL.
All of those drills in the hot weather in August to all those cold, rainy nights in October was worth it for the Indians.
Regan LaVigna scored two first-half goals and that sparked Peters Township as it defeated rival Canon-McMillan, 4-2, Monday night to claim at least a share of the section title with Upper St. Clair.
USC defeated Mt. Lebanon on the last night of section play, 4-2, and because the Panthers split both of its regular-season meetings with Peters Township, both teams will receive section championship plaques.
“It’s big to be a section champion,” Peters Township coach Pat Vereb said. “But it’s only one step. We still feel like we have a long way to go this season and we are happy that the playoffs are here. This is the toughest section in the state and I think playing in this section kept us sharp.”
Since 2008, the Indians (11-3, 13-3) have won seven section titles including five outright.
Peters Township swept the season series against Canon-McMillan (6-7-1, 10-7-1) and have won 10 of the last 16 meetings between the two rivals.
“We dominated the ball tonight and it was a good team win,” Vereb said. “We are not the biggest or strongest team, so we have to possess the ball and get our skill going, We have a lot of skillful and quick players. We have to steer away from those physical games.”
Four minutes into the contest, LaVigna received a perfect pass from Rachel Raber from 20 yards out and found the net to give the visitors the 1-0 lead.
LaVigna struck again 20 minutes later as she found room and was able to launch a shot from 15 yards out to double the Indians’ lead to 2-0. CeCe Scott had the assist on the goal.
Peters Township held a 2-0 edge at halftime and outshot C-M 6-2 in the opening 40 minutes. C-M’s best scoring chance in the first half happened at the 10-minute mark when Emily Clopp almost tracked down a loose ball near the PT goalkeeper in the box.
“We couldn’t let them get that early lead,” C-M coach Dave Derrico said. “That 2-0 lead for them was big and we didn’t play our best in the first half. Pat always has solid teams and I wish him the best of luck in the playoffs. We are a young team, so hopefully we will learn from this year.”
After both teams exchanged scoring chances to open the second half, the Indians collected two goals in a one-minute span.
Sarah Heisinger scored the first goal and the assist went to Chloe Trapanotto, and then Abby Neupaver tallied a goal with the assist going to Heisinger.
“It was a pretty balanced effort on offense,” Vereb said. “Regan is just a natural goal scorer. She was very opportunistic and trusted her teammates. We made some good passes to her and she was very poised in front of the net. Sarah and Abby also had good nights for us, too.”
In the final seven minutes, C-M avoided the shutout with two goals from Sarah Powell. Both goals were assisted by Sydney Snyder.
“I’m really optimistic about this team next season,” Derrico said. “I would have loved to win more games this fall, but it wasn’t in the cards. I loved our fight in the final 10 minutes of the game. Sarah got those two goals off of great assists. This team never quit or put their heads down. I love that about this team.”
Emma Sawich made six saves for Peters Township. C-M’s Abigail Hipkins stopped five shots.