Central York loses PIAA first-round heartbreaker
For all intents and purposes, Central York was headed to the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AAA boys' soccer tournament.
After all, the Panthers led Fox Chapel by a goal with less than a minute to play in regulation. But Foxes' junior Jung Hong had other ideas.
He buried a penalty kick with 51 seconds to go in regulation to level the match, then after a pair of scoreless overtime frames, Fox Chapel emerged victorious 4-3 on penalty kicks following a 2-2 tie after double overtime on Tuesday evening at Trojan Stadium in Chambersburg.
The loss ends Central York's season at 22-4 and the match ended the same way as the Panthers' loss to Lower Dauphin in the District 3 final on Saturday, which was decided by penalty kicks as well.
"We had a good season and these guys worked their tails off every single day," Central head coach Frank Lenno said. "They're very unhappy right now, though. They really wanted to win at least one game in the state tournament."
Fox Chapel (18-2-1) will face Springfield-Delco, a 2-0 winner over Northeast High, in the quarterfinals on Saturday at a site and time to be determined.
Central controlled most of the first half of the match, but neither team found the back of the net until Jared Wagner headed home a corner from Pierrce Miller at the 17:54 mark.
Fox Chapel returned the favor when Kota Furuhata headed in a corner cross from Hong with 11:27 left to play in the first half.
Then Igor Gomes pushed the Panthers in front on a rocket from 20 yards out to the top-left corner with 6:36 to play until the break.
"I didn't think we played well in the first half, and give Central York credit because they finished twice," Fox Chapel head coach Erik Ingram said. "But we gave them too many chances early."
The Foxes, who had a three-hour trip from Pittsburgh for the match, picked up the pace in the second half and worked hard to find the equalizer. They tested Panthers keeper Trevor Holderegger multiple times, but he was up to the task to keep his team ahead.
Given new life in overtime, Fox Chapel continued to press the action, but Holderegger held strong in net.
The penalty kick session saw Lenno change keepers from Holderegger to Kam Stoll, a strategy he also employed in the Lower Dauphin match.
"Kam is better against PKs and they both knew that was happening if the match got that far," Lenno said. "He didn't stop one on Saturday, but he was able to get one tonight and almost got another."
Stoll conceded goals to Furuhata and Hong to start the penalties, but those were matched by Jared Hileman and Nicholas Starr.
Then, Stoll denied Carson Cohen and Gomes scored to put the Panthers in front, 3-2.
Even at 3-3, Foxes' goalie Jacob Dunn denied back-to-back attempts and between those, Yarden Soloman's marker wound up being the winner.
"Our guys respond well to adversity," Ingram said. "They play for each other very well and I didn't have to say much at halftime. They knew what they had to do to win this and they did it."
Fox Chapel held a 10-6 edge in shots on goal and Central owned a 13-2 advantage in corners.
"We had a good first half, but the momentum changed in the second half," Lenno said. "We had some chances late, but just couldn't knock one in."
Fox Chapel 2, Central York 2 (4-3 on penalty kicks)
First half - 1. CY, Jared Wagner (Pierrce Miller), 17:54. 2. FC, Kota Furuhata (Jung Hong), 11:27. 3. CY, Igor Gomes, 6:36.
Second half - 4. FC, Hong, 0:51
Shots on goal - FC 10, CY 6
Corners - FC 2, CY 13
Goalies - FC, Jacob Dunn (4 saves), CY, Trevor Holderegger (8 saves)