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Boys' Soccer: Quaker Valley shares title with Fleetwood

Saturday, November 18, 2000

From local dispatches

HERSEY, Pa. -- Quaker Valley let a lead slip away late in its PIAA Class AA boys' soccer championship game yesterday at Hersheypark Stadium. But the Quakers did not let a share of the PIAA title slip from their grasp.

Quaker Valley (21-3-2) settled for a 1-1 tie with Fleetwood (23-2-4). The teams were declared co-champions. It is the fifth time it has happened in PIAA soccer finals, but the first since 1995 when Bethel Park and Neshaminy shared the Class AAA crown.

Unlike other PIAA playoff games, a penalty kick shootout is not used in the championship game to determine a winner if the score is tied after 30 minutes of sudden death overtime.

It is Quaker Valley's sixth PIAA championship and first since 1996. The Quakers lost in the PIAA final the past two years.

Quakers Coach Gene Klein did not mind sharing the title with Fleetwood, which won its second PIAA title in five appearances.

"There's no shame in sharing it with a great program like Fleetwood," Klein said. adding that he told Fleetwood Coach Tony Didyoung that his club was a "super team. They play a great brand of soccer."

Quaker Valley took a 1-0 lead less than 11 minutes into the game when senior midfielder Colin McGroarty blasted a shot from about 30 yards that went into the upper right hand corner. Forward Bryan Kisio set up the goal with a short drop pass. It was McGroarty's 30th goal of the season.

With the wind at its back, Quaker Valley dominated the first half. But when the Quakers had to change goals in the second half, Fleetwood had the upper hand. Although the Tigers controlled the ball and the territory, they had very few scoring chances until senior midfielder Ryan Fick rammed in a shot with a diving header from 10 yards with 7:02 left in regulation. Fick redirected a pass lobbed into the box by senior sweeper Bill Burgess.

"We knew we were going to have to hold on a lot in the second half," Klein said of the strong wind. "But we probably sat back too much and gave them too much space. It was a brilliant goal."

Quaker Valley then dominated in regulation and overtime but could not score.

Fleetwood goalie Shaun Taney made excellent saves to deny McGroarty and junior forward Nick Castle, who both had good scoring chances. Quaker Valley goalie Wade Tucker also made a nice stop of a shot at close range by Fick late in the overtime.

"We were hoping we could get a second goal before halftime," Klein said. "It would have been a heck of a lot nicer with a 2-0 lead, but we felt good about leading 1-0 at halftime."

Quaker Valley is the first WPIAL team to win a PIAA championship in soccer since the Sewickley Academy boys in 1997.

Three more PIAA title games are scheduled today at Hersheypark Stadium, featuring Sewickley in the boys' Class A final vs. Lewisburg, Mt. Lebanon in girls' Class AAA against Downingtown and North Allegheny in boys' Class AAA vs. Emmaus.

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