Northeastern coach Matt Wilson had a premonition that Beaver County Christian would be in the PIAA finals.
"When we looked the West side of the state, and who each team had coming back, it was obvious that Beaver County Christian was the best team in the West," said Wilson, whose squad came into the season as four-time defending PIAA Class 2A champions.
"We watched them for a couple years get to the state quarterfinals, and most of their starters were coming back. That's why we scheduled them."
Wilson is referring to a season-opening non-league match in which Northeastern swept Beaver County Christian. Eagles coach Christen Adels felt it played a big part in their success.
"When Northeastern's AD sent an e-mail asking us to play, I said wow," Adels said. "The four-time defending champions want to play us. We're going for it. We knew going into the match that we were going to lose, since we had only two weeks of practice, but that's the way to kick off the season. After that match, we set a goal of making it to Penn State to play them in the finals. We reached that goal."
Northeastern posted a 3-1 victory in the rematch and became only the second team in PIAA history to win five or more consecutive titles.
"[Beaver County Christian] were as tough an opponent as we've faced up here," Wilson said. "Their relentless pursuit on defense in games two and three was inspiring. They didn't quit after falling behind 2-0."
Beaver County Christian was making its first appearance in a state title match.
"We are so blessed to be here," said Adels, trying to hold back the tears. "God definitely blessed our school. To play in the state championship match is just awesome."
Beaver County Christian will be hard pressed to make a return trip to the finals, as the Eagles lose 10 players to graduation, including most of their starting lineup.