PITTSBURGH — Ricardo Headley didn't feel the ninth-seeded North Catholic boys soccer team's journey to the WPIAL Class AA championship at Highmark Stadium was a surprise.
With the progress the Trojans made as the year went along, he was confident their improvement could lead to a deep playoff run. North Catholic's momentum wasn't enough to prevent Quaker Valley from scoring a 5-0 victory to claim its 10th WPIAL title.
The Quakers, who have won their three meetings with the Trojans by a combined score of 15-0, were led by four goals from Keller Chamovitz.
North Catholic (12-8) will play District 6 champion Richland in the opener of the PIAA playoffs Tuesday at a site and time to be determined.
“I wouldn't say it was a surprise run,” Headley said. “I mean many people might now have been following our progress in the playoffs. That's when you make the headlines and everyone is like you are playing against the No. 1 or No. 4, but it's not a surprise to us, the coaches, the team and the supporters. We know how the team has progressed. ”
Devin Paschall helped keep the Trojans in the game. North Catholic's goalkeeper made 12 stops and was under pressure all night. Quaker Valley (19-2) broke through in the 24th minute.
Chamovitz was sitting on the edge of the box when a rebound found its way to him. He buried the goal to give the Quakers a lead they would never lose.
Chamovitz scored again 15 minutes later to double the lead.
“Quaker Valley is a quality team,” Headley said. “We fell down in the tactics in the second half. When you are 2-0 down at halftime and are pushing for that goal, you leave yourself exposed. We started the second half solid, but it's when you are pushing for that goal in a championship game you need goals to win the game.”
Quaker Valley, which last won the WPIAL in 2019, was happy to bounce back after being forced to pull out last season due to issues with coronavirus.
Quakers coach J.J. Veshio was happy he could help extend the school tradition.
“I've been here as a player and I've been here as an assistant coach and it never gets old,” Veshio said. “I'm just so happy for these guys after what happened last year. This is the result of a year of hard work since the day our season ended last year.”