Hill School edges Mercersburg for PAISAA crown

Zach Keller scored in the third minute of the first of two mandatory five-minute overtime periods as the Hill School boys soccer team edged Mercersburg Academy 1-0 Saturday night in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association championship at Cabrini College.

Jason Kuyper had the assist on the game-winner for the Blues (16-3-2), who brought home their second straight PAISAA crown.

“I thought we played our best match of the year as an 11, and our reserves played just beautifully,’ said Hill coach Chris Drowne, whose squad had tied Mercersburg 2-2 Nov. 1. “Every 10 minutes we got better and separated ourselves a little more. We dominated the second half and overtime.

“The first half, they (Mercersburg) had the better of the run of play, but from halftime on, we certainly did.’

The Blues — making their fourth straight title-game appearance — finished with a 16-7 shot advantage, with corners being even at 4-4.

Ross Lomire made four saves for Hill, which successfully defended its state crown despite losing eight of its top 12 players from last year.

“Co-captains Will Blake and Mark Forrest willed this team to a title with everything they did in practice and how they played throughout the tournament,’ Drowne said. “We had guys who had the opportunity to train against Division 1 players every day in practice the last two years, and I think those guys stepped up.”

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