When it rains it pours. And while the day was gloomy with rain and a windy chill, it was a day at the beach for the four top-seeds along with four others who were victorious in their Final Four match Saturday to earn a spot in the district finals at Highmark Stadium in Pittsburgh. This is one of eight Semifinals Boys Soccer matches heard only on the Trib Live High School Sports Network. A special thanks to Jonathan Spina, Justin McCauley, Sean Meyers, Kevin Zielmanski, Dave Floyd and Greg Kuntz for their help on these recaps.
WPIAL CLASS 4-A Semifinals:
Peters Township Indians 4 – Pine-Richland Rams 1
The top-seeded and unbeaten Peters Township Indians easily defeated the thirteenth-seeded Pine-Richland Rams 4-1 in the Boys 4A soccer semifinal at West Allegheny High School on Saturday afternoon. On a rainy day where ball possession was difficult to maintain, both offenses struggled for the first fifteen minutes of the first half.
Peters got their offense started on a set piece in the 17th minute when Junior Midfielder Brian Bruzdewicz curled a long ball into the box and Senior Midfielder Luke Kelly elevated above everyone near the left side of the net and headed home the first goal of the match. Kelly was among a bunch of players in the 6-yard box but he jumped high enough to create some separation for himself and buried the ball high into the net.
Peters got their second goal of the match when Senior Midfielder Mitchell Mindach played a long ball into the box that got knock around at the feet of many players until Senior Midfielder Bryce Gabelhart corralled the loose ball and slammed home the goal. Peters Township took the 2-0 lead into halftime. In the 9th minute, the Rams’ leading scorer Niko Marsh cut into the middle of the field from the left side and struck a beautiful shot from 35 yards out which beat Peters goalkeeper Derek Deyarmin to cut the lead 2-1. Marsh flashed his dribbling skills during the entire match, creating the best scoring chances for the Rams. The shot he took to score the Rams lone goal looked rather ambitious at first glance but end up in the back of the net, a really impressive strike.
Before the Rams could really settle into the match after the goal, the Indians pushed the attack down the right flank when Mindach deftly laid out a nice pass into space that allowed Sophomore Midfielder to run into the ball and bury the goal from just inside box, inside the right post. Junior goalkeeper Tom Fest had no chance for the Rams. That third goal of the Indians was scored in the 10th minute, 1:13 after the Rams had scored. Bruzdewicz closed out the scoring when he found the ball at his feet along the goal line in the 24th minute after the ball popped into the air from the right side of the goal to the other side where Bruzdewicz slotted home the easy goal.
Peters Township has a chance to win their 10th Boys Soccer Championship when the face North Allegheny at Highmark Stadium at a date and time to be determined.
Peters Township 4 – Pine-Richland 1
PT – 17’ Luke Kelly
PT – 36’ Bryce Gabelhart
PR – 9’ Niko Marsh
PT – 10’ Nathan Lopus
PT – 24’ Brian Bruzdewicz