McKeesport, Pa. – The #2 seed Penn State Greater Allegheny Soccer team is set for a rematch with #3 seed Penn State Hazleton in the semifinal round of the 2017 PSUAC playoffs. The two teams will be meeting for the second time this season after a very close contest in their meeting in the regular season where PSUGA pulled out the 3-2 victory.
It would be Hazleton that got on the board first in that contest in just the 2nd minute of play to take a 1-0 lead. PSUGA responded just five minutes later to tie things up at one not even ten minutes into the ball game. This one would come down to the end as the two teams traded goals once more to make it 2-2 going into the final 10 minute of play. Then, senior Jake Theiret (Port Vue, Pa./South Allegheny) gave PSUGA the win with a Penalty Kick that sailed in the net notching the 3-2 victory.
That win was the first ever for PSUGA against Penn State Hazleton in program history moving their record to 1-3-1 against them. If PSUGA can pick up their second ever win against Penn State Hazleton, they will earn a trip to the PSUAC Men’s Soccer Championship for the first time since the 2015/16 season.
Many of the players from that year’s championship run are still with the team this season. Theiret scored the only goal for PSUGA in that game and Belmo Nurkic (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin HS) picked up the assist. Marin Marina (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin HS) and current assistant coach Gerardo Diaz were both starters in that game as well. PSUGA will be looking to use the experience that those guys have from that game to get them there again in 2017.
It has been a long lay-off since PSUGA has taken the field with their last game coming on October 15th against Penn State Worthington Scranton. It was a big offensive effort for PSUGA as Jake Theiret captured his second hat trick of the season while Marin Marina and Belmo Nurkic each added two goals in the contest in an 8-0 win. The eight points were the second most scored by PSUGA this season with their highest total coming against Westmoreland County Community College when they scored 10.
For Hazleton, they did battle in the PSUAC Quarterfinal round on Wednesday where they topped #6 seeded Penn State Beaver 6-2. Moussa Diouf collected his first hat trick of the year, including scoring the goal that would put the game out of reach in the 62nd minute.
The match on Saturday will begin at 1 p.m. at the Francis McClure Elementary school soccer fields located at 500 Longvue Dr, White Oak, Pa. The winner of Saturday’s contest will move on to face the winner of the #5 Penn State New Kensington at #1 Penn State Brandywine game on Wednesday at University Park at 6 p.m.