The 2014 Pittsburgh D1 semifinals went down Monday night at Baldwin high school and they did not disappoint.
In game one, Shady Side Academy dropped Upper St. Clair 9-6. The teams trades goals all night and there wasn’t a two goal lead until SSA pulled with less than two minutes to go.
The second half begin with the teams tied at 3. During the opening possession, USC dropped into a zone for the first time. Shady Side sophomore attackman Max Jaffe found senior attackman Dan Marous to take a 4-3 lead. It was the easiest goal SSA would score on the evening.
SSA senior goalie Tucker Gilman (Georgetown) kept the Panthers at bay in the 4th quarter until SSA offense pulled away. Gilman is one of the more polished goalies to come out of Pittsburgh in a long time. He will take a PG year at Avon before moving on to Georgetown.
Max Jaffe, recovering from an early season concussion, had his best game of the year with 1 goal and 2 assists. He was covered by senior and likely all section defender Christian Teel for the majority of the game.
Junior Robby Woodings (Army), one of the best face off men in Pittsburgh, scored at least once and won several key second half face offs. Senior Mikey Concordia (Bates) scored once the put away goal for SSA.
Congratulations to USC head coach Brian Yates and his staff on a remarkable season.
In game two, Mt. Lebanon stormed back from a three goal fourth quarter deficit to defeat North Allegheny in double overtime 10-9.
The Tigers packed in 3-3 zone defense held Blue Devil shooters outside for the majority of the game. Lebo shooters hit five pipes over the course of regulation. But, in the final moments of the fourth quarter, Mt. Lebanon got inside twice before the tying the game on a deflected pass with 38 seconds remaining.
For the Blue Devils, a decision to double shut NA attackmen with short sticks resulted in key turnovers late in the game and in overtime.
North Allegheny senior goalie John Abbondanza (Robert Morris) was outstanding. Mt. Lebanon junior goalie Matt Lee was a touch better making 6 saves during the overtime frames including several in tight.
This semifinal game was a rematch of the 2013 WPIAL final which Mt. Lebanon also won 9-8.
Congratulations to NA head coach John Rullan and his staff on another post season appearance. The Tigers haven’t had a losing season since 2005. They’ve won at least 10 games every year dating back to 2000. Incredible consistency at the high school level.
- Two of the more exciting games in Pittsburgh history.
- Mt. Lebanon meets Shady Side for the D1 WPIAL final on Friday at Highmark Stadium in downtown Pittsburgh. The Blue Devils defeated SSA 5-4 on March 31st.
- Must watch match up: Mt. Lebanon’s 2016 middie Brian Ward (Yale) and Shady Side’s 2016 LSM Doc Szlachetka (Air Force).
- Head coaches from Robert Morris, Seton Hill, St. Vincent, and John Carroll were spotted. Assistants from Hobart and Robert Morris were also in attendance.
- Mt. Lebanon primary face off man was nursing an injury and did not take a face off in the second overtime.
- On the D2 side, Quaker Valley defeated Canon Mac 16-7. Indiana upset Moon 8-7 in overtime.