TIGERS SECURE FIRST SECTION CROWN IN 17 YEARS
The North Allegheny boys’ soccer team clinched a section title for the first time in 17 years courtesy of a 3-2 victory at Pine-Richland on Tuesday night. The Tigers received a hat trick from senior Josh Luchini to secure the win, giving him 20 goals on the season. North Allegheny extended its head-to-head unbeaten streak over the Rams to eight consecutive games.
Entering the night in fourth place in the Section 1-AAAA standings, Pine-Richland played inspired soccer and stormed out of the gates for the first goal of the night, scoring in the second minute on a marker by Justin Rossmiller for a 1-0 lead. The Rams had the better of the play in the first half but were unable to extend the lead thanks to NA’s fine defensive efforts and senior goalie Grant Glorioso. North Allegheny eventually drew even with Pine-Richland at 1-1 when Luchini scored his first goal of the night with 7:38 remaining in the half.
In the second half, North Allegheny turned the tables on Pine-Richland and dictated the pace. The Tigers grabbed a 2-1 lead when Sean Atwater sent a free kick on net and Luchini scored on a header with 37:17 on the clock. Less than two minutes later, Luchini scored his third goal of the evening when he drove a shot from 25 yards out into the top left corner of the PR net to bring the score to 3-1, Tigers.
The Tigers cruised through most of the second half until a penalty kick was granted to the Rams and Brian McCarthy capitalized for a goal with 4:53 to play. The marker by McCarthy cut the score to 3-2, Tigers.
North Allegheny held on to the one-goal advantage with stingy defense and deliberate play and seized a 3-2 triumph over its neighborhood foe.
With the win, North Allegheny improves to 11-2-1 overall and 7-0-1 in Section 1-AAAA. Pine-Richland, who has already clinched a playoff spot, falls to 6-4-2 overall and 4-4 in the section. The Tigers will host Butler on Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.