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Spergel’s goal takes PT Girls to the semifinals

Joseph Smeltzer | Observer Reporter

It was a blue-collar game, and it was fitting that a blue-collar player was the hero.

Peters Township coach Pat Vereb describes Bella Spergel was a “blue-collar kid” and Spergel’s goal was the only one Peters Township scored, and the only one it needed.

Spergel capitalized on a ball from fellow senior Christina Sefer in the second of two overtime periods to send the Indians through to the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals with a 1-0 victory over Butler.

Moments before the goal, Spergel thought she got a bloody nose.

“I’m known to get bloody noses in games,” Spergel said. “So I thought I got a bloody nose, and then I saw my moment.”

It was a “magic moment,” in Vereb’s words.

And he loved seeing it happen for a player like Spergel.

“She doesn’t get a whole lot of recognition,” Vereb said. “She’s a two-year starter for us and really worked hard … to have this moment and opportunity.”

For the longest time, it looked like neither team would ever score.

The Indians (13-1-3) had their best scoring chance of regulation with 17 seconds left in the first half. senior Brooke Opferman had a penalty kick opportunity. but Butler (10-7-1) keeper Delaney Yaracs saved the kick to keep the game scoreless.

Nobody scored in the first 10 minutes of the second half, either.

Or the next 10 minutes.

Or the next 10 minutes.

Or the next 10 minutes.

The game was 0-0 going into overtime. It stayed 0-0 after the first overtime.

Spergel had a chance to be a hero with a little more than a minute left in the first overtime, when she had a breakaway.

But Yaracs shut her down, and the game kept going.

Spergel was disappointed, but not discouraged.

“I knew that we were going to have another opportunity,” Spergel said. “So I knew that I needed to take what I got.”

She did exactly that, and now Peters Township is one game away from the WPIAL championship for the first time since 2019.

Peters Township has fallen in the semis in each of the last three years.

In the Indians’ way is No. 2 Mt. Lebanon, a section 2 foe who Peters beat 4-3 and 4-2 in the regular season. That game will be played at a neutral site at 6 or 8 Monday night.

Vereb isn’t expecting another 1-0 game.

“Both games (against Mt. Lebanon) have been very, very tight,” he said. “They have some special players on that team as well. We had two good battles with them this year. Both games were kind of high scoring, so it wouldn’t shock me if it’s another high-scoring affair.”

Spergel is looking forward to Part III of the Peters-Lebo saga.

“It’s going to be a very emotional game,” she said, “especially because we came out on top the last two times, and they’re looking for revenge. But I’m very confident in our team and our abilities, and I expect the same results as the last two times.”

No matter what happens the rest of the way, Vereb knows his team will remember what happened in the quarterfinals.

Especially Spergel.

“It’s the last time she touched a soccer ball ever in this stadium in a game,” Vereb said, “It’s that goal.”

For all 10 of Peters’ seniors, it was a fine way to go out.

“Their last game will be a moment that they’ll never forget,” Vereb said.

Spregel summed it up well.

“It’s a great way to end my experience here,” she said.

Published On: October 28, 2022Categories: 2022 SeasonTags: ,