Carrigan’s goal sends Great Valley back to states

Westtown – Back in September, West Chester Rustin defeated Great Valley in their Ches-Mont American Division regular season meeting.

On Tuesday night, the No. 15 Patriots returned the favor to the No. 10 Golden Knights in the District 1 Class AAA boys soccer quarterfinals, winning on the road 1-0.

The victory moved the Patriots into the semifinals, with a showdown versus No. 3 Wissahickon, at 7 p.m. on Thursday night. Great Valley also clinched a berth in the PIAA state playoffs.

Rustin was eliminated from the tournament with the loss.

In a contest that was heavily controlled by the visitors, they had nothing to show for it on the scoreboard for the first 87 minutes.

Great Valley’s Kyle Hoops hit the post 13 minutes into the game, and with 15 minutes remaining in regulation Hoops was unable to convert on a penalty kick.

However, the Patriots effort and determination did not go to waste. With 2:37 to play, Patriots’ forward Mike Carrigan broke the tie, beating Rustin goalkeeper Liam Grady from 5 yard out.

“Nick brought it down the side and I just followed the shot, because that is what our coaches tell us to do,’ Carrigan said. “I got lucky enough that the ball popped out to me and I got a good touch on it and the shot went in.’

After the goal, a mixture of relief, and joy came from the Great Valley fans that made the 12-mile trip across Chester County to Rustin Stadium.

The goal seemed to be long overdue with the Patriots receiving numerous chances.

“It is a sense of frustration when you can’t score on a penalty kick, when you can’t score on a few point blank opportunities, and you can’t capitalize on breakaways. You start to wonder what exactly it is going to take to get a goal. But we have a faith and belief in this group. We knew they were going to find a way to win,’ Great Valley head coach Dave Moffett said.

The game would not have been as climatic if it wasn’t for Grady’s performance in net. To say he had an excellent performance would be a gigantic understatement.

Grady made 18 saves, including a penalty kick, with acrobatic stops that had fans dropping their jaws. For the senior playing in his final game, he truly gave it his all.

“He did everything a coach and a teammate could ask for,’ Rustin head coach Ryan Castle said. “He kept us in the game, and he is the reason why we had an opportunity to win that game towards the end. That is a performance that he can lock away in his memory bank, and know that he did everything in power to win that game. He left it all on the field.’


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