2023 PIAA Class 2A girls soccer championship preview: Central Columbia vs. Avonworth

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Thursday, November 16, 2023 | 4:34 PM


PIAA Class 2A girls soccer championship

Central Columbia (23-1) vs. Avonworth (22-1-2)

10 a.m. Friday at Eagle View MS, Mechanicsburg

On the air: PCN-TV

Seeds: Central Columbia 4-1, Avonworth 7-1

How they got here: Central Columbia defeated Schuylkill Valley, 6-0; Wyomissing, 3-0; and Northwestern Lehigh, 4-0. Avonworth beat General McLane, 3-1; Clearfield, 6-0; and Shady Side Academy, 2-0.

Coaches: Ryan Polly, Central Columbia; J.C. Mahan, Avonworth

Players to watch: Kayla Keefer, Central Columbia; Fiona Mahan, Avonworth

PIAA titles: Central Columbia 1 (2022); Avonworth 0

Corner kicks: Central Columbia is the reigning PIAA Class 2A champion after beating General McLane, 4-1, in the title game last season. The Blue Jays have rolled through the PIAA tournament, outscoring their three opponents 13-0. Keefer, an Ole Miss commit, leads the Blue Jays with 53 goals this season and has 137 in her career. Keefer scored twice, and Kendra Stout and Haley Bull also scored for Central Columbia in the semifinals. Bull has 38 goals this season. … Avonworth is in the PIAA finals for the second time after falling to District 11’s Allentown Central Catholic, 2-1, in 2021. The Lopes have won three straight WPIAL championships and have been solid throughout the postseason. The Lopes have won 13 straight games, outscoring opponents 58-8 in that stretch. Fiona Mahan, a junior midfielder who committed to Alabama in September, scored on a header in the first half and a 25-yard blast in the second half to lead the win over Shady Side Academy in the semifinals Tuesday. Mahan, and seniors Gianna Babusci, Emma Luther and Minah Syam were All-WPIAL selections. Babusci was the team’s leading scorer in the regular season with 23 goals.

Bill Hartlep is the TribLive sports editor. A Pittsburgh native and Point Park graduate, he joined the Trib in 2004, covering high school sports. He held various editing roles before assuming his current position in 2019. He can be reached at bhartlep@triblive.com.

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