Cathedral Prep and Mercyhurst Prep boys advance

Class 3A boys quarterfinals

Cathedral Prep 3, Moon Area 0: At Wexford, the Ramblers in general, and Noah Handzel in particular, dealt the Tigers their first loss this season in the finale of Saturday’s PIAA tripleheader at North Allegheny High School’s Newman Stadium..

Handzel was responsible for each of Prep’s goals. He scored twice in a three-minute span of the first half, and then took advantage of a misplayed ball by Moon goaltender Zach Shutak for his third with 5 minutes, 51 seconds left in the second half.

“Our goal was to play our hearts out,” Handzel said. “We locked them up in the middle (of the field), we executed up top and got the job done.”

The Ramblers, at 18-1-1 overall, advanced to face Hershey in Tuesday’s PIAA semifinals. The match’s site and time will be determined Sunday.

Hershey, the top team out of District 3, defeated Ambridge 3-2 in their quarterfinal match at Johnstown. The Trojans improved to 20-3.

“My satisfaction right now is that we get to go to church (Sunday), train Monday and play again Tuesday,” Prep coach Sam Tojaga said. “This is a special group, so I get another (match) with them. That’s what this (win) means to me.”

Prep’s Max Johnson and Chris Morphy were credited with the assists on Handzel’s first and second goals. Goalkeeper Ethan Baker was responsible for the Rambler’s shutout.

Class 2A boys quarterfinals

Mercyhurst Prep 5, Bedford 0: At Wexford, the Lakers recorded each of their goals in the first half. None was more memorable than second one off the foot of Eric Gamboa.

That’s because the sophomore forward was upside down at the moment of impact.

Eric Gamboa, Mercyhurst Prep

Gamboa scored on soccer’s rarest attempt, a bicycle kick. He did a reverse somersault roughly two feet off the ground and booted the ball into Bedford’s net from roughly 10 feet away from the left post.

Gamboa said it was the first time he attempted a bicycle kick in a competitive match.

“I had the opportunity, (so) I tried it,” he said. “It was a beautiful goal.”

Story continues

Mercyhurst, at 18-3-1, moved on to Tuesday’s state semifinals against Lancaster Catholic, District 3’s second seed. The Crusaders ruined the chance at an all-District 10 semifinal with Saturday’s 4-0 shutout of Harbor Creek at Somerset.

Bedford, the District 5 titlist, was eliminated at 19-2-2. The Lakers never trailed the Bison when Kenny Zacks scored less than 10 minutes after the match’s opening whistle.

Adam Dahl and Shawn Ganger each scored after Gamboa’s acrobatic second goal.

Mercyhurst goalkeeper Landon Spero made the team’s five-goal advantage hold up over the second half.

Lancaster Catholic 4, Harbor Creek 0: District 3 runner-up Lancaster Catholic won against the D-10 runner-up Huskies at Somerset High School.

Class 2A girls quarterfinals

Mt. Pleasant 1, Fort LeBoeuf 0: At Wexford, a banner season for the District 10 champion Bison ended in the opener of Saturday’s state triple header at North Allegheny High School.

Maddie Barrick converted off a corner-kick attempt by the Vikings, District 7’s second seeds, with 9 minutes, 13 seconds left in the first half. The junior midfielder redirected the ball behind LeBoeuf goalkeeper Gabriella Green.

Lauren Rummel, Green’s counterpart for Mt. Pleasant, made Barrick’s goal hold up for a shutout victory. The Vikings advanced to Tuesday’s state semifinals at 21-2.

LeBoeuf’s 2022 season concluded at 15-2-2.

“We knew coming into (Saturday) that Mt. Pleasant was going to be a strong team, and they were,” Bison coach Bryan Kowalczyk said. “I felt like in the second half we made some adjustments to get some real good (scoring) opportunities, but we just couldn’t get the ball into their net. “

“I’m proud of these girls for what they accomplished. I guess I just wished we could have gone a little further.”

LeBoeuf’s berth in Saturday’s match was thanks to its dramatic 3-2 victory over North Catholic in the tournament’s first round.

That win, determined by penalty kicks, was the first time the Bison won in state action since 2000.

General McLane 3, Clearfield 0: At Clarion University, Abby Walker scored a pair of goals as the Lancers advanced to the PIAA semifinals.

Kelsey Berger had the other McLane score. Sam Johnston assisted all three goals.

Bella Dibble recorded the shutout in goal for McLane, which will take on Mt. Pleasant on Tuesday.

Contact Mike Copper at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ETNcopper.

Contact Josh Reilly at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ETNreilly.

This article originally appeared on Erie Times-News: PIAA soccer quarterfinals: Cathedral Prep and Mercyhurst Prep boys win


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