Lippy's late goal sends Susquehannock to semis
ALTOONA — It wasn’t clear who would take the free kick for Susquehannock with 4:40 left in regulation and a golden scoring chance in front of the Warriors in Saturday's PIAA Class AA boys' soccer quarterfinal.
The Warriors were in the offensive zone and time was ticking away as Kaleb Lippy stepped up to the ball for the free kick. The whistle blew, and he belted it into the corner of the net out of the reach of the South Fayette keeper for the eventual winning goal in Susquehannock's 1-0 victory.
“We were trying to decide who was going to take the kick,” Lippy said. “I was like, 'You know what? I’ll take it.' I just stepped up and I said, 'I’ll take it.' I backed up and hit it. It was perfect.”
Warriors head coach Brett Maxwell called the goal a “great individual effort,” adding that the Warriors haven't had much success scoring off free kicks this season
“We worked on trying to drive the ball because we tend to try to float the ball,” he said. “(Lippy) just hit a brilliant ball right in the upper 90s. It was a great finish.”
The goal saved the game from following a similar trajectory to the Susquehannock girl's soccer team, which fell to Mercyhurst Prep in the first game of Saturday's doubleheader. The nightcap appeared to be headed to overtime as well after neither side could find the back of the net.
The squads played an evenly matched contest at Mansion Park Stadium on Saturday. One of the best offensive opportunities came for Susquehannock in the first half. The Warriors were awarded a penalty kick at 15:04. Colton Mumley fired his shot to right side of the net, but Lions keeper Colin Martincic read it perfectly and made the diving save.
The second half saw more of the same as the two sides traded chances and possession. South Fayette’s Michael Gates tried to send a cross into the box at 28:22, but it was swiftly cleared away by the Warriors. Susquehannock's Luke Thomas was able to get a shot on goal several moments later, but Martincic came up with the save.
“The game was back and forth,” Maxwell said. “It was a game of momentum swings. We’d have control for 15 minutes then they’d take over for 15 minutes. It was all about momentum and it was just who was going to put the ball back in the net.”
Lippy added: “When you get this late in the season it’s the defense of the teams. That really comes down to it, because whoever lets up the least amount of goals is the most helpful.”
The Warriors will have the rest of the weekend to enjoy the victory before they get back to work. Susquehannock will face District 7 third-place team South Park in the state semifinals Tuesday for a shot in Saturday's championship game.
Second Half - 1. Sus, Kaleb Lippy, 4:40.
Shots on goal - Sus 6, SF, 6. Corners - Sus 2, CF 7. Goalies - Sus, Aaron Bilbie (6 saves), SF, Colin Martincic (5 saves),