Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A New Cast but Same Results: State Champs

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

A New Cast but Same Results: State Champs

Article excerpt

There was a changing of the guard this season with the Peters Township High School girls' soccer team after seven seniors, all starters, graduated from last season's PIAA championship team.

And after the new-look Indians were able to win a second- consecutive PIAA title on Saturday, there may be a changing of the guard in PIAA Class AAA girls' soccer.

Peters Township's second consecutive PIAA championship came against District 1 champion Pennridge.

Before last season, teams from District 1 had won 12 of the previous 13 PIAA Class AAA championships. Eleven of those championships were won against WPIAL teams and in those games District 1 teams outscored WPIAL competition by a combined margin of 28-2, a staggering total considering how competitive most state championship contests are.

"We showed that we can win states two years in a row with a completely different group of kids," senior defender Brooke Smith said.

Smith and senior forward Madison Creehan were the team captains. They were around last season when Peters Township won its state title with a 1-0 decision against District 12 representative Archbishop Wood of Philadelphia. This year it had to go through a perennial power from a perennial power district in Pennridge.

"It shows how far the program has come in five years," Peters Township coach Pat Vereb said. "We just have that mentality that we are going to compete for championships. It also says a lot of Western Pennsylvania soccer. We are getting tired of hearing that we are the underdog and the better level of soccer is played out east. The statistics show otherwise."

In the PIAA final it was sophomore forward Veronica Latsko who fought off two defenders and beat the Pennridge goalie on a highlight-reel goal in the first half to account for the only scoring. The Indians defense held off a furious Pennridge second- half attack to make sure the lead stood up.

"The goal was very, very typical of her tenacity and her will to win that separates her from the majority of players," Vereb said. "Her work rate is so high and she just has that willingness to get it done."

Peters Township finished the season 20-3-1. …

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