Mohney brothers guide No. 6 Butler past No. 11 Latrobe in WPIAL 1st round
Latrobe entered the playoffs on a roll, going unbeaten in the final six games of the regular season to clinch a berth, but Monday night it ran into Butler’s Mohney brothers.
Tate Mohney had two goals and Landon Mohney scored once to lead the No. 6-seeded Golden Tornado past No. 11 Latrobe, 3-0, in the first round of the WPIAL Class 4A boys soccer playoffs at Art Bernardi Stadium.
Butler (11-4-2) earned a playoff victory for the second consecutive season and advanced to play No. 3 Upper St. Clair (11-3-2), Thursday in the quarterfinals at a time and site to be announced. Latrobe, which made the playoffs for the first time since 2014, finished the season 10-7-1.
Tate, a senior, connected on a cross with Landon, a freshman, who finished with a shot inside the right post to put Butler in front 1-0 in the sixth minute.
It was a proud dad moment for Butler coach Troy Mohney to see his sons connect for a goal.
“The first goal Landon scored this year he worked the ball to Tate and then Tate got it back to him,” Coach Mohney said. “For them to do it in a playoff game, and five minutes in, that was pretty cool to see.”
In the 24th minute, Tate made a steal just outside the Latrobe box and all in one motion turned and fired a shot into the net. He added a goal from 50 yards with the Latrobe goalie Tanner Sabol pushed way up field in the final minute.
Tate had several other chances to find the net, but missed wide once, had a shot hit over the cross bar another time and was called offsides on a breakaway on two occasions.
“We knew to match (Tate), but until you play him you just don’t know,” Latrobe coach Tom Kennedy said. “He’s a man among boys out there for most of them. They have a nice team. It was a well-played game, and the better team deserved to win tonight.”
Butler continued to put pressure on Latrobe for the majority of the first half, but strong goalkeeping by Sabol kept the Wildcats within striking distance. Sabol, a sophomore, finished with 13 saves, many of them from point blank range.
″(Sabol) played a great game, didn’t he?” Kennedy said. “They scored those first two goals on us and from there we couldn’t generate the strong offense that we wanted, which was the difference in the game. Our system is to spread it outside and then cross it in. They were quick, and when we had our opportunities we were slow to get up there. We wanted to do the same things they did to us.”
Latrobe scored three or more goals in each of its last four regular-season games, but could only muster two long distance shots in the first 10 minutes and did not get another shot on goal until the 66th minute. The Wildcats had a couple of crosses in the second half, but they were defended well by the Golden Tornado.
“In the first five minutes of the game I thought they had the better of the play, and then we made a little adjustment so their outside guys wouldn’t have as much time,” Coach Mohney said. “From that moment on, I felt comfortable with the game. We did a pretty good job of keeping the ball and limiting their chances.”
Latrobe qualified for the playoffs for only the second time in the last quarter century, both of those coming in the last five years under Kennedy. It’s an experience that could prove beneficial for the Wildcats, who return seven starters from Monday’s game.
“They had a great year,” Kennedy said. “They played their way into the playoffs. It wasn’t like we had a pigtail game. We were good enough to play this team. If we generate a goal at any point, it becomes a completely different game.”