PIAA Girls 4A Final
Canon-McMillan (21-1-1, WPIAL Runner-Up) vs Central Bucks South (19-5-1)
Saturday, Nov. 19 – 4 p.m. – Hersheypark Stadium
Broadcast – PCN-TV (click here for Cable TV schedule and live streaming information)
Canon-McMillan has lost only one time this year, a 3-1 defeat to fellow WPIAL foe Norwin in the district finals at Highmark Stadium on Nov. 5.
A week later the Big Macs found a chance to return the favor, beating Norwin 3-1 in the PIAA quartefinals, then won Tuesday’s semifinal with a resounding 4-1 victory over District 3 champion Cumberland Valley.
Now the Big Macs have another shot at redemption — as they return to Hershey focused to win an elusive state title.
Two years ago the Big Macs were on the verge of winning its first-ever PIAA girls soccer title — but Central Bucks West rallied late to get a goal in regulation, then took home the gold with a winner in overtime.
“The girls are excited. Even the ones who weren’t there two years ago picked up on the excitement,” Big Macs coach Dave Derrico told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review earlier this week. “We’ve been trying to keep them focused on one game at a time, but it’s hard not to look ahead.”
Winning a PIAA trophy have been a driving force for five talented seniors who played in Hershey two years ago — captains Sabrina Bryan (Hofstra recruit), Aideen O’Donoghue (Pitt), Isabel Scheidenhelm and Cheyenne Trest and goalkeeper Megan Virgin (Long Island).
“I chose those four as captains for that reason; they did have the vision and experience,” Derrico said. “Those four led the team. They wanted another shot, and they got back to where they wanted to be. Hopefully, I’ve learned something in two years, too.”
It’s the first championship appearance for the Titans, who edged Manheim Township, 1-0, with a goal late in regulation in the PIAA semifinals. It appears that they have a big, physical back line with defense that hasn’t surrendered many goals in the postseason.
This looks like it will be a good match-up between a team that has been shutting down its opposition (CB-South) and a dynamic Big Mac attack that features Bryan at the top, and the versatility of O’Donoghue, who spent time at U.S. Women’s National Team camp earlier in the year as a defender.
I had an opportunity to interview O’Donoghue, after she announced that she was going to be committing to the University of Pittsburgh on the Pittsburgh College Soccer Show, you can listen here — beginning at the 18:30 mark of the show.