The Hickory and Wilmington High girls soccer teams were in action on Tuesday in the opening round of the PIAA playoffs and both came away winners.
Hickory notched the first PIAA playoff win in program history by beating defending state champion Moon Township, 1-0, in the Class AA playoffs.
In the nightcap at Franklin High, the Lady Hounds registered a 2-1 overtime win against Sewickley Academy in Class A action.
ä Hickory 1, Moon Twp. 0 — At Franklin, the Lady Hornets (19-1-1) continued to set school records with the win over the Lady Tigers (20-3).
Sara Suler scored the lone goal of the match 10 minutes into the 2nd half off a corner kick from Jackie White.
Morgan McBride posted the shutout in goal. It was her school-record 15th of the season and 44th of her career.
“Morgan made an absolutely huge save in the first half,” said an excited Hickory Head Coach B.J. Rudge. “The (Moon Twp.) girl was two feet from the goal and (McBride) just made a beautiful save.
“This has been a fun journey. This team is just phenomenal,” Rudge related.
Moon was ranked 2nd in the state and beat Archbishop Wood, 1-0, for last season’s PIAA championship. Moon was the No. 3 team out of the WPIAL.
Saturday’s 1-0 win over Mercyhurst Prep for the District 10 title was the 1st-ever in Class AA for a Mercer County girls’ team. The 19 wins is a Hickory single-season school record.
“I’d like to give props to my back four,” said Rudge. “Madison Bell, Patrice Clemenza, Mackenzie Gruber and Brianna McGowan played great. We knew Moon would come in with a lot of offensive pressure. They maintained possession on the ball more than we did in the first half, but we had a great defensive team effort and we got more scoring opportunities in the second half.
“It’s really exciting. I really talked to the girls after we won our first district title and said ‘It was a huge accomplishment, but don’t be satisifed. This doesn’t change what we’re about.’
“And they went out there and beat a great team in Moon.”
Hickory advances to play WPIAL champion Central Valley on Saturday at a site and time TBD. Central Valley edged District 5 champion Somerset, 3-2, on Tuesday night at Moon Area High School in Coraopolis.
ä Wilmington 2, Sewickley Academy 1 (OT) — In the nightcap at Franklin, the Lady Hounds (13-7-1) posted a thrilling overtime win against Sewickley Academy (12-8-3).
Sewickley took a 1-0 lead early and held that lead at halftime.
Wilmington standout Kyler Lum tied the match with 13:01 left in the 2nd half and then won it with 2:58 left in overtime by drilling home another goal.
No other details were reported to The Herald.
Wilmington beat Mercer for the District 10 championship on Friday night while Sewickley in the 3rd seed from District 7 (WPIAL).
Wilmington advances to play either Karns City or Greensburg Central Catholic Saturday at a site and time TBD.