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Susquehannock boys' pull off first-round PIAA win

HOLLIDAYSBURG -- After watching the Susquehannock girls' soccer team win in an overtime thriller in the rain, the Warriors boys' soccer team made it a Susquehannock sweep, knocking off District 5 champ Somerset, 3-0, in dominating fashion in the opening round of the PIAA tournament at Hollidaysburg High School.

The Warriors outshot Somerset, 15-4, and spent the overwhelming majority of the game deep in the Golden Eagles' zone firing a barrage of shots on net.

"We came out with some energy after we found out early that we could move the ball pretty well," Susquehannock head coach Brett Maxwell said. "We've played some games lately that were more based in the midfield and this one wasn't like that, so we had to adjust quickly."

Susquehannock came out of the gate fired up. Cheikh Cisse collected a rebound from a Stephen Rouse shot that had bounced off the crossbar, and Cisse buried it past Somerset's goalkeeper. The Warriors kept up the pressure, peppering Somerset's freshman goalkeeper, Kurt Pucci, with nine shots on goal in the first half. The score differential could've been a lot wider if not for three or four diving saves by Pucci late in the first half.

The Warriors, who narrowly beat Fleetwood in double overtime to qualify for states, did beat him one other time in the first half, when Luke Thomas scored an unassisted goal in the final three minutes of the first half then waved to the Susquehannock faithful that had made the 180-mile trek.

Kaleb Lippy added an insurance goal early in the second half when he scored a header on an assist from Jayson Gayle.

Susquehannock will play the winner of South Fayette and Thomas Jefferson in a quarterfinal Saturday.

"It's states so you always expect a tough game," Maxwell said. "It's just going to get tougher from here. District 7 plays some good soccer and both the teams we could play are from there, so we have to pick it up a notch."

Susquehannock 3, Somerset 0

Susquehannock_     2_     1_ —  _3   
Somerset_      0_     0_ —  _0

First Half — 1. Sus, Cheikh Cisse (Stephen Rouse), 38:52. 2. Luke Thomas, 2:28.

Second Half — 3. Sus, Kaleb Lippy (Jayson Gayle), 32:40.

Shots on goal — Sus 15, Som 4. Corners — Sus 3, Som 3. Goalies — Sus, Aaron Bilbie (4 saves), Som, Kurt Pucci (12 saves).