Lance Lysowski | Observer Reporter
Get the ball to Cheyenne Trest. It sounded simple enough, but Canon-McMillan had to gain possession at the start of the overtime, punch a ball deep into Peters Township’s end and do something it wasn’t able to do for much of the night – sustain possession and create a chance inside.
With the Indians focused on keeping the Big Macs’ three forwards to the outside, Canon-McMillan head coach Dave Derrico wanted the ball going to his player most likely to find an open teammate – Trest.
It didn’t go as planned, but the result, much like her rising shot, was on target.
Trest, a junior midfielder, collected a pass on the outside and fired a shot into the top-right corner of the net 32 seconds into overtime to give Canon-McMillan a 1-0 overtime win against Peters Township Wednesday night in a Section 4-AAA match.
The Big Macs (12-0, 15-0-1), who already clinched the section title and earned their 12th shutout this season, remain one of two unbeaten teams in Class AAA and could secure the top seed with a win Monday over North Allegheny. The Indians (9-3, 12-3), meanwhile, will finish tied for second place with Moon.
“We told them to play the ball down to the corner on the kickoff to get it to (Cheyenne) somehow,” C-M head coach Dave Derrico said. “We thought she’d be the one to cross it, but she ended up being the one scoring the goal. It didn’t go as planned, but it worked.”
At the opening kickoff of overtime, Canon-McMillan senior defender Courtney Finney collected the ball and found senior midfielder Allie Thomas 45 yards from the goal. Thomas dribbled five yards, circled a defender and found Trest sprinting down the left sideline.
Trest gathered the ball with a defender behind her, sprinted forward and fired a rising shot from 30 yards that sailed in for the game-winning goal.
“The plan was to play the ball down to the corner, but (Allie Thomas) saw me open on the side, I looked up, saw the open net and just shot it,” Trest said. “Peters is always our big rival so anytime they come to our stadium or we come here, we know it’s going to be a hard game.”
The Big Macs had just three shots on goal and allowed more corner kicks to the Indians for the second consecutive match, but like their 2-1 overtime win last month, they capitalized.
Peters Township controlled the midfield, blocking the Big Macs’ strategy of having junior forward Aideen O’Donoghue find space up the sideline and created chances with precise passes in transition.
It earned several scoring chances in the second half, including freshman Natalie Daube’s low shot that was saved by Big Macs junior goalkeeper Megan Virgin with 30 seconds remaining in regulation and the Indians had three shots blocked by C-M defenders after a corner kick in the 24th minute of the second half.
“We thought we played the better game,” Peters Township head coach Pat Vereb said. “They won a ball, they found a loose player and the girl made an absolute perfect game-winning shot. You need players to step up with miraculous plays in those moments and she did.”
After a back-and-forth first half, it did not take long for both offenses to create chances. Indians freshman striker Regan LaVigna’s header off a corner kick sailed just over the net in the fifth minute of the second half.
Less than five minutes later, Thomas’ shot on a direct kick from 35 yards was stopped by Indians keeper Reilly McGlumphy and the Indians’ strategy of keeping the Big Macs’ to the outside continued, allowing chances only on set pieces.
The Indians had four corner kicks and controlled the midfield, but in the end, it was Trest’s goal from the outside that ended the two teams’ third consecutive match decided in extra time.
“They were using their size and their strength and they do that very well. They don’t want to be tied with Moon and they have pride,” Derrico said. “We’re ultra-rivals with them for the moment. We beat them in overtime last time and we knocked them out of the playoffs last year. There was a lot on the line tonight.”