Stinson's huge half sparks Sewickley


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HERSHEY, Pa. -- Anthony Stinson wanted to "go out with a bang" in his final competitive soccer game, but instead went out having a blast.

Stinson, a senior forward at Sewickley Academy, broke Mountain View's defensive grip with an early second-half goal, then added a second goal and an assist to vault the Panthers to the PIAA Class A boys soccer championship with a 4-2 victory Friday night at Hersheypark Stadium.

"I said to myself I wanted to go out with a bang," said Stinson. "I guess I did."

Stinson's goal just 9:05 into the second came with his team down, 1-0, after an early goal by Colby Thomas, and sparked the Panthers.

J.P. Bowell crossed to a waiting Stinson, who slammed the ball past Mountain View's goalie, Bobby Pfhal.

"He's a great goalie," Stinson said of Pfhal. "He made some great saves against us last year and he made some good saves in the first half. But our mindset was to stay calm, keep our composure and keep placing the ball in the right spots."

Just 10 minutes after the equalizer Steve Munn crossed to Stinson, who outjumped a defender, resulting in a sharp header that nailed the crossbar. But the ball rebounded just to Stinson's right, and he buried the short-range shot for a 2-1 Sewickley lead at the 59:20 mark.

"He's been here before," Sewickley Academy coach James Boone said. "We kept telling the guys after the first half to keep playing and someone would break out for us. It happened to be Anthony.

"We work on that shot, too -- well, not off the crossbar -- but following shots," Boone said. "We don't stop just because a shot didn't go in."

Just a little more than two minutes after Stinson's second goal, Connor Zierden made it 3-1 when he belted a shot past Pfhal at the 61:59 mark.

But the 3-1 lead didn't relieve the Panthers.

"You never feel safe," Zierden said. "Not against a good team."

Mountain View, which had won 35 consecutive games heading into the championship, fought back, getting a goal from Nick Jarrow at 67:57.

But Mountain View never threatened again, and Sewickley's Matt Teitelbaum made the win more certain with a goal off Stinson's pass with 3:50 to play.

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