McKeesport, PA. – The #4 Penn State Greater Allegheny Soccer Team (8-4-2) continues their run through the Penn State University Athletic Conference Playoffs when they go on the road to face #1 Penn State Brandywine (13-2-2) in the semifinal round on Saturday at 2 p.m. A win would get them back to the PSUAC Championship game for the first time since the 2015-2016 season when they lost to PSU-Beaver.
They got to the semifinal round thanks to a 4-1 win over #5 PSU-York on Wednesday that netted them their first ever home playoff win. Belmo Nurkic (Pittsburgh, PA./Baldwin HS) got the scoring started taking a pass from Raghu Chimoriya (Pittsburgh, PA./Ellis Prep Academy) and finding the net. He would add one more goal before halftime on a free kick that pushed the PSUGA advantage to 2-0 as the team’s broke for the locker room.
The second half saw senior Prajal Sharma (Pittsburgh, Pa./Baldwin HS) and freshman Chris Rossi (Elizabeth, NJ./Frank A. Cicarfel Academy) each score a goal to round out the four point attack. Goalkeeper Colin Bucsok (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson HS) led the defensive effort making seven saves on eight shots on net in the win.
The 4-1 win marked the first ever home playoff win for PSUGA and gave them some much needed confidence. The win was also their first playoff win since the championship year in 2015-2016 after losing their previous three playoffs games and getting kicked out in the first round in each of the last two seasons.
Their road to the PSUAC Championship is not an easy one as they have to go through the #1 seed in the PSUAC Playoffs in PSU-Brandywine. Brandywine went an impressive 13-2-2 throughout the regular season including a perfect 9-0 in PSUAC Play/ They earned a first round bye and start their road back to the PSUAC Championships after winning the championship in four of the last five years.
PSUGA is looking for some retribution after the two team’s earlier matchup when PSUGA fell by the score of 7-0. The all-time series has gone Brandywine’s way with PSUGA picking up just one win in the eight matchups between the two teams. However, that one win came in the Semifinal round of the 2015-2016 PSUAC Playoffs that sent PSUGA to the Championship game.
After playing to a 1-1 tie at the end of regulation and two overtimes, the game went to a shootout to determine the winner. The first seven shooters all made their shots and it came down to the eighth and final pen when former Lion Jake Theiret put one through the goal posts to capture the 5-4 shootout win and the team’s first ever trip to the PSUAC Championship.
Nurkic is the only remaining player from that championship team and PSUGA looks to follow a similar path this season. In 2015-2016, they went on the road to beat both York and Brandywine as the #6 seed before making the championship game. PSUGA is hoping for similar results this season as they try to get back there.
Kickoff for Saturday’s game is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Penn State Brandywine. You can watch the action live courtesy of a live stream from Penn State Brandywine by clicking here.