Moon comes within inches of late game heroics in loss to Hampton

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Moon's Marcus McCoy and Hampton's Luke Fiscus compete for the ball during Wednesday night's WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals at Hampton High School.

ALLISON PARK — Just a few inches. That’s how close the Moon Area High School boys soccer team was from avoiding a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to No. 2 Hampton on the road in the WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinals. 

Down by a goal and with time ticking away, the Tigers knew there would be only a few chances to keep the game, along with their season, alive. As sophomore forward Davi Jansson gained possession of the ball, his head lifted up. That’s all his teammate Christopher Brancato needed to know, the attack was on. 

A well-placed cross found the head of a streaking Brancato less than 5 yards from the goal. For a moment, the placement looked to be perfect. Then … “clunk.” 

“I just melted,” Brancto said. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought it was going in. I thought I didn’t over hit it. I thought it was just perfect, and it just didn’t go in.” 

Hampton's Gabe Viszlay lines up a shot as Moon's Ethan Boland defends during Wednesday night's WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals at Hampton High School.

“I saw it and I couldn’t believe it,” senior goalkeeper Jacob Wieland said. “It was gut-wrenching. You knew right there, that could’ve been the last chance we had.” 

Less than a foot lower and Moon sends the game to overtime. However, that simply wasn’t in the plans for the Tigers, who fell short in their next few scoring attempts as well, bringing an end to their 2021 campaign. 

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