Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Quaker Valley Preparing for States

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Quaker Valley Preparing for States

Article excerpt

Until Tuesday, Quaker Valley had not reached the WPIAL boys' soccer semifinals since 2000, the year it won its most recent PIAA Class AA title.

The Quakers (16-6) lost to Thomas Jefferson in overtime in the 2000 WPIAL Class AA semifinals. Then they came back to run the table in the PIAA playoffs.

Now a Class A team, Quaker Valley is still in the running for a PIAA championship. But the Quakers cannot win a WPIAL title. They dropped a 2-0 decision to Trinity Christian (20-2) in the WPIAL semifinals Tuesday at North Hills' Martorelli Stadium. Trinity Christian scored in each half.

"I never felt like we were in control of the game," Quakers coach Gene Klein said. "We might have had them under pressure, but we never controlled the game the way we need to.

"I thought we made a lot of poor decisions with the ball and they made some great decisions and were always dangerous. They have some good players who picked us apart."

The game was played on fairly even terms. Quaker Valley outshot Trinity Christian, 12-11, with the Falcons taking six corner kicks to five for the Quakers. Trinity Christian's first corner kick cost the Quakers.

Trinity Christian went ahead 1-0 with 10:44 left before halftime on a textbook corner-kick play. Midfielder Ben Sera soared to head in a corner kick from forward Luke Zappa.

Zappa leads the Falcons with 36 goals, but became the playmaker in this contest, getting an assist on both goals. On the second, Zappa used some nifty foot skills to set up an open shot from 10 yards out. Zappa drove a low shot toward the far post that goalie Zach Nadler deflected away. But forward Dan Berkenpas sent in the rebound for an insurance goal with 9:44 left in the game. Trinity Christian also got solid performances from goalkeeper Ben Mahtani and sweeper Justin Grubisha.

"[Grubisha] was an absolute rock back there and made it very difficult for us," Klein said. …

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