SV girls come up short in title bid

November 5, 2021 Cranberry Local Sports

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Seneca Valley defender Chloe Leonard, (36), fights for the ball during a game against Moon High School on Thursday November 4, 2021 in Pittsburgh.

PITTSBURGH — Moon forward Elizabeth Hoff set off the alarm bells for Seneca Valley girls soccer coach Mark Perry Tuesday night at Highmark Stadium.

Generating chances against a stout Tigers defense was going to be hard enough. Once Moon scored its first goal on a redirect by Hoff five minutes in, the Raiders had an enormous mountain to climb.

“They won every battle and they wanted to win even more than we did,” Perry said. “Once we fell behind, against a team that had given up four goals all year, we were in trouble and we knew that. We have to regroup and get ready for the state playoffs.”

Second-seeded Moon never let fourth-seeded Seneca Valley regroup, beating the Raiders 4-0 to capture their fourth WPIAL crown. The Tigers, who have won six straight games, have only allowed their opponents to score four goals all season.

Moon (16-1-1) got started when Hoff, who was in the center of the box, was able to redirect a pass toward the far post.

“We've been waiting for a goal from Lizzy for the past couple games,” Tigers coach Bill Pfeifer said. “It was good to get her on the board.”

Moon doubled its lead in the 23rd minute after a shot by Lauren Muhanna deflected off a Seneca Valley defender and found its way into the back of the net.

“That typified the night,” Perry said. “We hit our shots at the goalie. They put theirs past our goalie.”

The Tigers tacked on another goal from Muhanna in the 34th minute. The Tigers added another in the second half when Hailey Longwell found a loose ball off a scramble following a corner kick and pushed it into the back of the net.

The Raiders didn't have many scoring chances. Seneca Valley had a late free kick from a dangerous area, but the shot was hit directly to the Moon keeper.

Seneca Valley (16-4-2) will open the PIAA playoffs against District 6 champion Altoona or District 10 champion Erie McDowell. McDowell and Altoona are playing in a sub-regional playoff game Saturday at Hollidaysburg.

Perry believes the Raiders can rebound. The matchup with Moon just wasn't Seneca Valley's night.

“There are always nerves in a championship game,” Perry said “We wanted to weather the first 10 minutes and we gave up a bad goal and fell apart. It wasn't the true Seneca Valley team we played in the first 20, 21 games we had this season.”

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