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PIAA Girls' Soccer: Butler outlasts Mt. Lebanon

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

By Paul Zeise, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

Three weeks ago, the Butler girls' soccer team thought its season was over when it lost to Upper St. Clair in the WPIAL quarterfinals.

But the Golden Tornado received new life when the Panthers went on to win the WPIAL title and carried Butler into the PIAA playoffs as the fifth and final seed from District 7.

And Butler has made the most of its second chance.

Last night at North Allegheny's Carl A. Newman Stadium, the Golden Tornado defeated Mt. Lebanon, 2-1, in an overtime shootout in a PIAA Class AAA semifinal and advanced to the title game Saturday at HersheyPark Stadium against defending champion Downingtown. It's the first time Butler has reached the championship match.

The Golden Tornado won the shootout, 4-2. After Butler goalkeeper Jessica Onufer made a diving save on a shot by Shannon Rengers, Meghan Schnur scored the winning penalty kick in the lower right corner.

Schnur gave Butler a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute with a shot from 25 yards out. Schnur created some space in front of the Blue Devils' defense with a dribble, then looped a shot over goalkeeper Brianna Taylor and just under the crossbar.

Jen Bilac tied the score in the 49th minute when she beat the Golden Tornado defense and ripped a shot past Onufer and into the far side of the goal.

Neither team was able to generate many scoring chances in the final 30 minutes of regulation. Butler did have a great opportunity to take a lead with 7:40 left, but Lindsey McCaskey's shot from 25 yards out hit the crossbar and bounced out.

Class AA

Quaker Valley beat South Park, 2-0, in a PIAA semifinal at Newman Stadium to advance to the championship game Friday at HersheyPark Stadium against Villa Joseph Marie.

The Quaker Valley-South Park games was a rematch of a WPIAL semifinal from two weeks ago. The Eagles won that confrontation and went on to claim the WPIAL championship. But last night's game was all Quakers from start to finish. They outshot the Eagles, 17-7, and had 12 corner kicks to the Eagles' three.

But Quaker Valley's inability to finish plays enabled the Eagles (23-3-1) to hang around long after they should have been put away. And despite the Quakers' numerous first-half scoring chances, the game was scoreless at halftime.

The Quakers continued to pressure the Eagles' goal without success for the first 10 minutes of the second half and even hit the post twice. Cari Unger finally scored in the 50th minute on a breakaway goal to give Quaker Valley a 1-0 lead.

Quaker Valley (21-3-1) then put the game out of reach in the 63rd minute when Kara Vezza scored off a pass from midfielder Amy Tirimacco.

"I wasn't too concerned that we were letting them hang around because we were pretty much having our way," said Quaker Valley Coach Kristin Steffey. "We just weren't putting the ball in the net. But usually when you have so many opportunities and keep getting so many shots, something good happens."

South Park did not have a shot on goal in the final 16 minutes.

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