Hampton wrests Class AA soccer title from Mars
Hampton sophomore Justin Carter wasn’t surprised. That’s because most of his goals come this way.
Carter struck twice — within 80 seconds — to lead the Talbots to a 4-1 victory over Mars in the WPIAL Class AA boys soccer final yesterday at Baldwin.
Carter converted both goals under the most unlikely of circumstances.
“I tend to score a lot of goals like that,” Carter said.
Hampton, the tournament’s top seed, avenged a 1-0 loss to Mars in last year’s final — the Planets’ third consecutive victory over the Talbots in 2009. This fall, Hampton (21-1) returned the favor, defeating Mars in all three 2010 meetings.
The title is the Talbots’ first since 1990. It also snaps a two-year stretch of dominance for Mars (14-6-2), which won the past two WPIAL crowns but had to win on the last day of the 2010 regular season to make this tournament — as a No. 14 seed.
In the PIAA tournament, Hampton will play Schenley, the District 8 champion, on Tuesday at North Allegheny. Mars will play District 9 champion Bradford on the same night.
Carter’s first goal came on an innocent-looking floater from about 30 yards in the 43rd minute. He followed that by tapping a shot inside the right post after Mars botched a clearing attempt in the 44th minute.
Mars senior Brenden Frank finished a header in the 49th minute before Hampton’s Jonathan Mercier and Erik Donatelli added goals.
Still, it was Carter’s two-goal outburst that made the difference.
“If there was a way to bottle that, I’d like to give it to everybody because players with natural instincts don’t come along all the time,” Hampton coach Chuck Kelley said. “But, really, he’s just one of several great players on this team.”