Joe Koch | Post Gazette
Getting the opportunity to play Upper St. Clair one more time was something that Peters Township High School’s girls soccer team wanted to take advantage of going into Tuesday night’s PIAA Class AAA Western Regional championship game at Chartiers Valley.
After all, the memory of a 3-2 loss to the Panthers in the WPIAL championship game just 10 days earlier was a fresh – and painful – one. The only way to vanquish that feeling was to shut down the Panthers’ attack long enough to capture a victory and earn a second consecutive trip to the PIAA Class AAA championship game.
That’s precisely what the Indians did as their defense made a first-half goal by sophomore striker Emily Franty stand up in a 1-0 triumph for the Indians. Peters Township will play Penn-ridge High at 3 p.m. Saturday in the PIAA Class AAA state championship game at Hersheypark Stadium.
The Indians hope to earn a second consecutive PIAA championship trophy to go with the one they earned in the 2010 PIAA Class AAA championship game with a 1-0 victory against Archbishop Wood of Philadelphia.
The solid defense wasn’t lost on Indians coach Pat Vereb. “We felt we made some very critical mistakes in the WPIAL final,” he said. “We talked about them, and we played a lot better [Tuesday night]. I thought we deserved to go to Hershey.”
Peters Township kept the ball in the Panthers’ end of the field for most of the night, but everyone on the Indians’ team knew that Upper St. Clair would mount a concerted effort to tie the game. The Panthers’ most serious chances took place with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game when the Panthers just missed on two corner kick opportunities.
Both were initiated by junior forward Carley Bogan. Her first cross ended in front of the goal and the ball deflected toward the goal, but was kicked away by Indians junior midfielder Rachel Troscinski with 9:13 left in the game. About a minute later, Bogan initiated another corner kick, but Panthers’ senior defender Megan Veglia’s header sailed just wide.
“They’ve got a very potent attack with Carley Bogan,” Vereb said. “I thought we did a good job limiting them to very few opportunities. The defenders don’t usually make the newspaper, but they did a great job, and our goalkeeper did a good job, as well.”
No one was happier to see Troscinski’s clutch play at the net than sophomore goalkeeper Megan Parker. “Rachel had a really great save,” Parker praised. “I would have not been able to get to it.” Parker became the team’s goalie when senior Madison Creehan was injured during the team’s 3-2 victory against Moon in the first round of the WPIAL tournament. Parker has started since. She is 4-1, with the only loss that 3-2 setback to the Panthers in the WPIAL final. Parker has now recorded three shutouts.