Fox Chapel hangs tough in WPIAL field hockey final
Share with others:
As unconventional as it might have been, Fox Chapel stuck to a plan in the WPIAL Class AAA field hockey championship Wednesday night, defeating defending champion Penn-Trafford, 1-0, in overtime by hanging around and capitalizing on its best chance in a game dominated by the Warriors.
Despite getting only one penalty corner compared to Penn-Trafford's 18, Fox Chapel weathered the suffocating offensive onslaught until finally, with 3:09 left in overtime, the Foxes caught a break.
After Penn-Trafford goaltender Harry Miller made a save on a Rachel Wight shot, the rebound was left at his feet.
Unfortunately for him, Sammi Pitz beat him to it and stuffed it home to give Fox Chapel its first championship since 1997.
"It seemed like slow motion, and I just hit it in," Pitz said.
Fox Chapel played a similar game to get to the championship, as they defeated North Allegheny in the semifinals despite having only two penalty corners while surrendering nine.
"I think that during the game we actually get stronger instead of weaker while other teams get weaker," Pitz said.
"So then we thrive, and, if they're fading, we're ready to be there and beat them."
Shady Side Academy seized both definitive opportunities in the Class AA championship against Sewickley Academy and earned consecutive WPIAL championships in a 2-1 overtime victory against the Panthers.
The first moment was the winning goal, which was scored by Sidney Mordoh 5:41 into overtime off Shady Side's sixth penalty corner. Mordoh received a pass at the top of the circle and ripped a shot into the top left corner.
"That was our play. We tried it twice [in the overtime]," said Mordoh.
"I definitely felt really strong when I took it."
Mordoh would not have had such an opportunity, however, if goalkeeper Gabby Harchelroad had not preserved a 1-1 tie by saving a Sewickley Academy penalty shot with 11:22 remaining.
Sewickley's Alexis Basilovick, who had scored just 6:41 into the second half, fired a shot high, but Harchelroad was able to get her stick and shoulder on the attempt to keep the score tied.
Shady Side's first goal came 11:23 into the game, when Isabel Aiken deflected a cross from Mordoh into the net to give the Indians the lead.
Sewickley evened the score early in the second when Basilovick single-handedly broke through Shady Side's defense and ripped a shot off of Harchelroad to tie the score 6:41 into the half.
First Published November 1, 2012 12:28 am