Joe Tuscano | Observer Reporter
Peters Township’s soccer team should send a thank you note to the team from Central Catholic High School.
The Vikings lost 2-0 to Baldwin on Oct 27 but used up a lot of the Highlanders’ energy in doing so. Meanwhile, Peters Township had a first-round bye and a chance to rest.
The last thing Baldwin needed on a clear cold Saturday was an overtime match against top-seeded Peters Township but that’s exactly what the Highlanders got.
Against a wilting Baldwin team, Andrew Massucci rifled the ball into the upperside panel of the net to give the Indians a 2-1 double overtime victory over Baldwin in the WPIAL Class 4A playoffs.
Peters Township moves on to play Fox Chapel, which raised some eyebrows with a 6-0 shellacking of Upper St. Clair Saturday.
It was the third straight win for the Indians (12-1-1) over the Highlanders. They took a 4-2 victory Sept.29 and eked out a 1-0 victory Oct. 10.
“It definitely benefited us that we were a little more rested than they were,” said Peters Township head coach Bobby Dyer. “The bye helped and hurt us. We didn’t have a match in 12 days and I think it showed in the first half. They (the Highlanders) are a tough team. They played us well. Eventually, we broke the dam.”
Massucci, a right-footed kicker, came into the scoring zone normally where a left-footed kicker would shoot. He surprised the Baldwin defense by letting a shot go and putting it out of the reach of goalkeeper Tommy Wible.
“It was a great team play,” Massucci said. “I just got the ball in a good spot, saw the goal and decided to shoot it. I probably caught them by surprise. They are a good defensive team. I was tired but my teammates and I just pushed through it and got the win.”
Baldwin was hoping to take the game to a shootout but the wear and tear on their bodies was just too much to stop Peters Township.
“We’ve had a long season with a lot of injuries and our depth just kept going down,” said Baldwin head coach David Zinski. “We even lost a couple guys in this game so we were playing a lot of freshman. I thought we played very well in the first half, we were even in the second half and in overtime, they had more depth than us.”
The first half ended in a 1-1 tie. Baldwin, which controlled the play along the sidelines well and played a swarming defense, got the first goal on a rebound by Cole Thomas.
Six minutes later, Peters Township tied the score 1-1 when he sent a crossing shot that Wible didn’t get a good look at.
“It’s tough for a team to play another team three times,” said. Dyer. “They were playing with desperation and we needed to match it. We didn’t in the first half. We did in the second and overtime.”