For the North Allegheny field hockey team, Monday’s WPIAL Class AAA final represented a return to normal.
For its opponent, the outcome was yet another heartbreaker on this stage that Fox Chapel would rather forget.
With a 2-1 overtime win at Fox Chapel’s own James Burk Memorial Stadium, which was made possible by a game-winning goal from junior forward Carley Thieret with 6 minutes, 23 seconds left in the first extra session, North Allegheny snagged its first WPIAL title since 2007 and 11th overall.
Meanwhile, Fox Chapel (16-1-1) lost in the Class AAA final for a second straight season following last year’s 1-0 overtime defeat to Peters Township.
“It was overtime and we had to win,” Thieret said. “I was at the top of the circle, saw the open net and took a shot, hoping it would go in. This is crazy. I just wanted us to win so badly because we hadn’t won in a couple years.”
North Allegheny’s Emily Humiston scored the first goal of the game with 12:39 left in the first half off an assist from Thieret. Fox Chapel’s Kate Hardiman tied it at 1 with she popped a shot over North Allegheny goalkeeper Leanna Noel with three minutes left in the second half.
Because one Class AAA PIAA tournament slot is split between District 6 and the WPIAL, North Allegheny (15-5) will have to win at State College at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday to make the state playoffs, which start Nov. 9.
In the Class AA final, sophomore forward Shae LaPlace scored three goals to lead Ellis School to a 6-1 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic. The title was Ellis’ fourth since 2002 and second in the past three years.
“My mind is blown,” LaPlace said. “Everybody played amazing.”
The Tigers (12-6) dominated pretty much every statistical category, holding a 19-4 edge in shots and a 9-3 advantage in penalty corners.
Senior forward Laura Congelio added two goals — bookending LaPlace’s natural hat trick — for Ellis, which will play a PIAA first-round game against the District 5/6 winner on Nov. 9.
Senior midfielder Julia Guthrie rounded out the scoring for Ellis. Hope Williams had the lone goal for the Centurions (12-4).