Sewickley Academy entered last Friday night's PIAA Class A boys soccer championship game having scored 81 goals in 23 games.
The Panthers' opponent, Mountain View, had 14 goals in its first three state tournament games.
But the final was anything but an offensive explosion.
Austin Mack scored early in the second half and Mountain View packed in its defense for the rest of the game in a 1-0 win for the Eagles.
Five of the six PIAA soccer championship games this past weekend finished with 1-0 scores.
Was Sewickley coach James Boone surprised at the lack of goals in the Panthers' game?
"Yes and no," Boone said. "You look at [Mountain View] and what they were doing in the state tournament, scoring five and six goals, and I expected it to be a more open game.
"At the same time, most of the final games were 1-0 or 2-1. I expected there to be more scoring opportunities, but both defenses played very well that night."
Sewickley's defense was just as good as the offense this season. The Panthers (21-2-1), led by goalkeeper Hayden Moyer and senior defenders Max Proie and Rob Nogay, gave up just seven goals all season.
But the offense was shut out for just the second time this season. Sewickley also put up a goose egg in a scoreless tie in a non-section match against neighborhood rival Quaker Valley, the WPIAL Class AA champion, in October.
In fact, Sewickley scored at least two goals in all but four games this season. One of those four games was a 2-1 loss in the WPIAL semifinals against Greensburg Central Catholic, the Panthers only other loss this season.
"We lost in the two championship tournaments," Boone said. "I would have liked to have a few more minutes in those games."
But overall, it was a great first season for Sewickley under Boone. Boone was an assistant coach with the varsity last year and was the head coach of the Sewickley Middle School team. When Uwe Stender stepped down as coach in the offseason, Boone stepped into the varsity's head coaching role.
He led Sewickley to its first state championship game since it won the title in 2007.
"Our first goal was to win section, which we did, then to win WPIAL and states," Boone said.
"We didn't get the last two championships, but we had a very successful season. I'm very happy for the team.
"From start to finish this team worked hard and responded to coaching. They bought into our system."hssoccer
First Published November 21, 2012 5:00 AM