All high school athletes dream about one day breaking through and playing for a state title. On November 19 and 20, the PIAA Soccer Championships concluded in Hershey, PA at Hershey Park Stadium, making those dreams a reality for eight teams.
Congratulations to everyone on a terrific season!
Boys: Winchester Thurston and reigning champion Faith Christian seemingly scored at will as they navigated through the tournament, but both sides struggled to find the goal in the 2021 1A Boys’ Soccer Championship. The game was scoreless until Winchester Thurston junior Oliver Daboo netted the game winner in overtime. It was the first state title for Winchester Thurston (23-0-1), which also went unbeaten for the first time.
Girls: For the second straight year Southern Columbia and Greensburg Central Catholic met in the 1A Girls’ Soccer Championship. Just like the meeting a year ago, Southern Columbia came away victorious. Junior Loren Gehret scored twice, while seniors Cassidy Savitski and Summer Tillett each had one in the 4-0 win.
Boys: Quaker Valley took on Lewisburg, the winner of the 2020 2A Boys’ Soccer Championship, and each team gave it everything that they had. The game remained scoreless after regulation and overtime, requiring penalty kicks to decide the outcome. Nick Allan of Quaker Valley sunk his penalty in the shootout, giving the Quakers a 5-4 win in PKs.
Girls: The Avonworth girls soccer team was minutes away from finishing off Allentown Central Catholic and claiming its first PIAA championship victory in its first appearance. Avonworth senior Ava Wert gave her team a 1-0 lead early in the contest, but Allentown Central Catholic junior Madalyn Szoke and sophomore Sammy Roth scored late goals a minute apart to clinch Allentown Central Catholic the title.
Boys: Hampton senior Zach Panza chipped a shot past the Archbishop Wood goalkeeper with 22:40 remaining in regulation to give Hampton his team a 1-0 victory over the Vikings in the final. It was Hampton’s first title in 11 years.
Girls: It took double overtime to name the winner of the 3A Girls’ Soccer Championship between Mars and Radnor. Sophomore Selah Koleth gave Radnor a lead early in the contest, but junior Reece Dunaway levelled the score in the second half for Mars. Senior Aly Cooper, scored the final goal for the Planets with 12:32 remaining in the second overtime, giving Mars (20-0-1) its third consecutive unbeaten season.
Boys: Conestoga put the finishing touches on a perfect 26-0 campaign on Friday evening with a 1-0 victory over Seneca Valley to capture the PIAA Class 4A Championship. It is the program’s fifth state crown, and fourth in the past decade, dating back to 2011’s 3A title. Senior Jayce Tharnish scored the game’s lone goal.
Girls: Sophomore Sydney Felton scored in the first half on a rebound and junior Kayla Leseck chipped in a second-half insurance goal as Moon knocked off Conestoga to win the PIAA Class 4A girls soccer title.