WPIAL BOYS 2A FINAL
SHADY SIDE ACADEMY 3, QUAKER VALLEY 2, 2OT
Shady Side Academy’s boys soccer program — with a long-storied soccer tradition that that goes back nearly 100 years – long before there was a WPIAL — has never quite seen anything like what transpired on Saturday at Highmark Stadium in the WPIAL Boys 2A Final.
Shady Side, who came into the WPIAL tournament as a 15-seed after an underachieving 9-7-1 regular season, pulled off a dramatic 3-2 double overtime win over top seeded Quaker Valley — as Wally Navid had a bicycle kick equalizing goal and Navid and Adrian Beckman connected on the game winner — both on long throw-ins from Eric Wolf.
“To be honest, I’ve said it several times, we know who we are,” Shady Side coach Ed Ellsworth said. “We have good players, and we know our strengths. We lost a bunch of games in overtime and late. We replaced eight starters from last year’s WPIAL finalist team, and it was a process. The kids never stopped believing.”
That’s right — two dramatic goals — and both on throw-ins — once certainly finished by a bicycle kick – -and the other as Navid and Beckman converged on a redirected header.
Navid’s bicycle kick goal tied the game in the final minute of regulation.
The second won it in overtime.
You had to see it to believe it…
With time running out in regulation, in a match that Quaker Valley dominated for much of the contest — Shady Side rested its hopes on Wolf’s long throws and hoped that something could happen in the box.
You can find the goals here:
“We’ve been practicing it all season, we got one in normal season, then a few in playoffs. The plan was to get it near the six (yard box),” Wolf said, then chuckled. “Then we finally got them at the end of this match.”
That’s when the junior, Navid, put himself in position — lined himself up — and did what came natural to him.
“We’re just fortunate that we have Eric to get them in for us,” Navid said. “I saw it in the box, and I said to myself I got to go to the ball — and I’m biking it — and it went in.”
Yes Wally, not once, but twice!
As the game went past the 100 minute mark, and into the second overtime, Shady Side found itself with another throw inside the final third.
There — it looked like Navid was putting it through with another bicycle — but a closer look reveals Beckford coming in with a header simultaneously.
Quaker Valley, who beat Shady Side last year in the final, 2-1, to capture its eighth overall WPIAL title, was on the verge of winning its ninth after Landon Grant put the Quakers ahead in the 72nd minute, evading a slide tackle attempt near the top of the box by the last defender, Lev Ivanov, then slid a low shot past Shady Side keeper Chester Todd.
“We played our game — and did well to get the lead,” Andrew Marshall, Quaker Valley coach said. “It took a penalty, and two long throws to beat us today. Got to give them credit, they executed their game plan today.”
Quaker Valley took the lead seven minutes into the first half as Franky Fernandez finished off a cross into the box from Landon Grant.
But, the resilient Indians came back with pressure in the box, drawing a penalty inside the 18 — setting up a penalty kick for Ben Ream.
The teams would play for much of the rest of the first half — and into the second half with the Quakers setting the pace, and Shady Side looking for counter opportunities. Shady Side’s keeper Todd was under constant pressure most of the game — as Grant in particular was active with sending balls into the box.
“We wished we had this one, but it didn’t work out for us today,” Marshall said. “Now we’ve got a great opportunity to go play for a state title — and we’re excited about that.”
A year ago, the Quakers made it to the state final – and something tells us — that they may run into Shady Side one more time.
Now wouldn’t that be something.
PLAYERS OF THE GAME: Wally Navid & Eric Wolf
Well, this is a no-brainer.
Who pulls off winning a title — coming from behind with two throw-ins, and two bikes?
These two (who I caught up with along with coach Ellsworth…
3:31 – GOAL – SHADY SIDE ACADEMY !!! FINAL SCORE — SSA 3, QV 2 (2nd OT -105th minute)
It was ANOTHER long throw — and it was Navid again with the game winner. LOOKED LIKE ANOTHER BIKE!
3:27 – Long free kick for QV — and SSA keeper Todd punches away ball that was going into right corner. Wow!
3:25 – long throw for SSA again from Eric Wolf — and Aiden Beckford shot gets through but QV wall of defenders in goal area keep it out.
3:22 p.m. – They’re playing Final Countdown over speakers as 2nd OT begins…
3:19 p.m. – the first OT has been slowed down by a few injuries — and QV with most of the play — and about a half dozen chances, two corners and two free kicks but no goal.
2:53 p.m. – We’re going to OT Landon Grant with a good chance as time expires for QV. Another classic playoff match between Shady Side & Quaker Valley
2:51 p.m. – GOAL – SHADY SIDE – –
freshman Wally Navid with a BICYCLE KICK!!!
On long throw in
2:43 p.m. – QUAKER VALLEY 2, SSA 1
Landon Grant scores for QV — evades slide tackle attempt by
Lev Ivanov, beats GK Todd
2:32 p.m. – nice ball played over top to right side to Gunner Pipitone — and SSA freshman slides shot past Lagnese, but it bounces wide of goal. 64′
2:20 p.m. – Quaker with more possession, few corners in 2nd half — but still nothing to show for it.
1:56 p.m. – HALF – Shady Side 1, Quaker Valley 1
Pretty well played — and exciting half of soccer between two solid attacking units. QV with more chances, but SSA is hanging around and are showing can play with the No. 1 seed.
1:55 p.m. – before end of half — SSA with decent advance into box – forcing QV’s keeper Dom Lagnese into save that forces corner. QV keeps solid shape on corner to force shot wide.
1:52 p.m. – SSA’s GK Chester Todd under all kinds of pressure — makes 2 terrific saves, one a punch another kick save to keep score level
1:40 p.m. – Landon Grant with a shot to inside right post area for Quaker Valley, but solid quick save by SSA’s Chester Todd. Ensuing corner kick too short — SSA clears.
1:35 p.m. – GOAL – SSA 1, QV 1
SSA – Ben Ream scores on PK in 15th minute
1:34 p.m. – PENALTY! SSA player taken down in box. Ben Ream stepping up to take it for the Indians.
1:26 p.m. – GOAL – QUAKER VALLEY 1, SSA 0
Franky Fernandez finishes off a cross into the box from Landon Grant.
1:15 p.m. — we’ve kicked off…
This is another rematch of one of last year’s finals. Each team has taken a different path to return to the finals.
A year ago, Quaker Valley scored two goals from set pieces, and held on for a 2-1 win against Shady Side to capture its eighth WPIAL title, and first under coach Andrew Marshall, a former defender with the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
Reigning champs Quaker Valley have shown few blemishes this season, with only one loss to 3A finalist Montour.
It should be another classic post-season match-up between two successful programs that always seem to run into each other during playoff time. Quaker Valley won last year’s game by finishing on a pair of set pieces — while Shady Side puts out a skillful side that likes to play through possession.
Shady Side, under the guidance of Ed Ellsworth, have taken an entirely different path — struggling through the regular season, with a 9-7-1 regular season overall record — and the WPIAL seeding committee decided to give last year’s runner up a 15-seed. The Indians got on a roll — stunning No. 2 seed South Park 5-2, then shutting out Waynesburg Central 3-0, and Central Valley 2-0.