Shady Side Academy won the PIAA Class A girls soccer championship 4-0 over Camp Hill on Saturday afternoon at Hersheypark Stadium.
The Indians (17-4) held a 2-0 lead at halftime with goals by Melissa Riggins and Caroline Davis.
In the second half, Krystna Rytel scored two goals to put the game away. Davis had two assists and Riggins had one.
Molly Skvorak made eight saves for the shutout.
FOLLOW ALONG HERE:
12:56 p.m. – Western PA (WPIAL teams) are now 3 for 3 in PIAA finals this weekend.
12:40 p.m. – Indians add another late goal — and they’re well on their way to first ever PIAA title.
12:32 p.m. – It’s now 3-0 SSA — as Krystyna Rytel scores her 56th goal of season –converting a corner kick from Caroline Davis.
Davis now with two assists and a goal.
12:07 p.m. – here’s a look at Davis’ goal as 2nd half is about to start…
11:55 a.m.- GOAL Shady Side 2, Camp Hill 0
a long shot from 30 yards give @shady_side a 2-0 late in the 1st half
tough one for Camp Hill keeper as she couldn’t get to it
11:40 a.m. – great save by SSA keeper Molly Skvorak — on Camp Hill breakaway attempt. Then in mad scramble — SAA clears but Camp Hill with corner. The corner comes to near post — again Skvorak with a stop off header.
11:30 a.m. – GOAL Shady Side
Melissa Riggins pounces on loose ball after corner kick — shot from 15 yards goes in side left post
SSA leads Camp Hill
11:08 a.m. – kickoff looking more like 11:10 a.m. now as teams being introduced. It’s raining
This is a return trip for Shady Side Academy girls, who are hoping for a better defensive performance in this trip to Hershey. Last year Shady Side were blitzed by Fairfield, losing in a wild 9-4 shoot out.
Still, this is a program that has been a regular and always in contention for WPIAL and PIAA titles. Now, they’re hoping for a first ever PIAA title after winning three WPIAL titles this decade.
“We consistently get quality players,” Shady Side Academy coach Leah Powers said. “We have a strong program. I think every year we lose a group of seniors and wonder how we are going to regroup. Players have developed as they go. The next group steps up every year. Our core group brings the other girls with them and sometimes we surprise ourselves.”
Powers is in her eighth season with the Indians as an assistant but took over the head coaching duties this year when Mary Lynch took maternity leave.
Turning the page to this season, the Indians’ rode to the state final had to go through its section and 1A rivals – Greensburg Central Catholic. And again, this year the rivals met four times. The teams split the regular season series. The Centrurians won the WPIAL final at Highmark Stadium on November 2 in a tight, 1-0 contest with a Sydney Ward shot that barely evaded SSA keeper Molly Skvorak enough to land in the top right corner area.
“It was a little out of her reach, what are you going to do,” Leah Powers, Shady Side head coach said after that match. “She’s been a little hobbled by an ankle injury that’s kept her out of practice, but what can you do, you play with what you have.”
It would be the first goal Shady Side would concede in seven games, but Skvorak’s has only allowed one goal, late in 3-1 win over North Catholic in PIAA playoffs since. Powers said after the WPIAL final loss to Greensburg Central Catholic, she had “no doubt we’ll see them again.”
She was right.
After rolling to wins in the first two rounds of the PIAA playoffs, Shady Side avenged its WPIAL final loss to the Centurians with a 3-0 win in the PIAA semifinal.
Shady Side are led by midfielder Krystna Rytel (33 goals, 30 assists), who scored twice in the semifinal win, will be the player to watch. The versatile Rytel can push forward higher in the attack if needed or sit back in the central defense to set up her teammates with pinpoint passing.
Camp Hill, much like Shady Side, will be attempting to win it’s first ever state title.
With a 3-2 victory over a skilled East Juniata squad in the PIAA Class A semifinals. The upstart Lions, are on a remarkable, if not unlikely, postseason run.
Despite a 3-3 start — and a coaching change after six games, Camp Hill earned the No. 3 seed in the District 3 Class A tournament by virtue of its 11-7 regular season record. The Lions steamrolled No. 6 New Covenant Christian and No. 2 Harrisburg Christian by identical 6-1 scores to reach the district finals against top-ranked Fairfield – the defending PIAA Class A champion. Much like Shady Side, they also lost its district title game, 2-1, but hanging with the reigning champs for 80 minutes ignited their state title belief.
Yes, that’s the same beat Shady Side in a rout in the PIAA final a year ago.
WHAT: PIAA Girls 1A Soccer Championship
WHO: Shady Side Academy (16-4) vs Camp Hill (13-8)
WHERE: at Hershey Park Stadium, Hershey, PA
WHEN: Saturday, November 18, 11>10 a.m.
Broadcast LIVE on PCN (check your provider listings) and the PCN Select app
photo credits – Long Hong