Junior forward Jessica Brandon scored two goals to lead North Allegheny to the WPIAL Class AAA field hockey championship with a 2-1 victory against Fox Chapel Tuesday night at Newman Stadium.
The Tigers don't have much time to celebrate their first WPIAL title since 2010, as they will meet District 5-6 champion Mifflin County at 6 p.m. Thursday at Newman Stadium.
"This is what we waited for," said Brandon, who leads the team with 14 goals. "We finally did it, we deserved it and we came through."
It was the second game in a row Brandon was the offensive powerhouse. In last week's 1-0 victory against Peters Township in the semifinals, she scored the only goal with 2:31 left in the second overtime.
Brandon's first goal Tuesday came with 9:33 left in the first half when she deflected forward Maddy Snyder's shot past Fox Chapel senior goalie Hannah D'Cunha.
The goal came as a result of the fifth penalty corner the Tigers recorded in the first half. Brandon's second goal came as a result of the eighth penalty corner awarded to the Tigers with 20:28 left in the second half. She blasted a shot from just inside the offensive scoring circle, 20 yards from the goal, after taking a pass from forward Bree Monnin.
"I always tell them to make it count," said North Allegheny coach Maddy Berkley. "Our main goal was to get the ball on cage. We shot wide the last game [against Peters Township].
Fox Chapel had just two penalty corners but capitalized on the second with 4:56 left when forward Nicole Susi, the Foxes' leading scorer with 11 goals, fired a shot from just inside the circle.
Fox Chapel's late goal was a case of too little, too late, according to coach Jen McCrady.
"We were slow to start and we didn't show up until there was 10 minutes left in the game," she said. "They worked hard and they outhustled us."
■ Shady Side Academy 2, Winchester Thurston 1: Sophomore midfielder Corby Wolfe deflected Sarah Anania's shot into the goal with one minute left in overtime to give Shady Side Academy a 2-1 victory against Winchester Thurston at Newman Stadium. The win put the Indians into the PIAA playoffs against an opponent to be determined.
"It felt like an eternity," Wolfe said of her winning goal that trickled past Winchester Thurston goalie Anastasia Landman. "It felt like a long time."
The win gave the Indians their third Class AA championship in a row and 13th overall. It was the first time Winchester Thurston played in the championship.