A-K Valley girls soccer notebook: Burrell looking forward to homecoming

Tuesday, September 29, 2020 | 4:20 PM

The Burrell girls soccer team has hit the road in the early part of the season, waiting to play on the new turf field at Buccaneers Stadium.

That wait is coming to an end.

The Bucs, 4-0 overall and in Section 2-AA, are scheduled to play their home opener at 7 p.m. Monday against section rival Freeport.

“The girls are really looking forward to it, but I think they are just happy to be playing anywhere, to be honest,” Burrell coach Frank Nesko said of a season that was not guaranteed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bucs own road wins over the Yellowjackets, Deer Lakes, Highlands and Valley as they hope to defend their section championship from a year ago. The Bucs are riding a 19-game unbeaten streak in section play.

Freshmen Leah Brockett and Tess Mathabel each scored twice as the Bucs topped Deer Lakes in section play last week.

The home slate continues next Wednesday against section newcomer Shady Side Academy and also will feature contests against Deer Lakes on Oct. 10, Valley on Oct. 13 and Highlands on Oct. 15.

Cavaliers in section mix 

Kiski Area hopes to keep its winning momentum alive in Section 1-AAA as it seeks to topple undefeated Franklin Regional (5-0, 5-0) when the teams meet Thursday evening at Kiski.

The Cavaliers, WPIAL quarterfinalists the past three years, have won three section matches in a row since a 3-1 loss to FR on Sept. 19.

“The section is up for grabs as we approach the midway point,” Kiski Area coach Mike Spagnolo said.

“This week is very important as we play (nonsection) Butler, who is undefeated, Franklin Regional, who is undefeated, and Hampton, who is ahead of us by a game. That being said, we have to win these next two section games to remain in contention for the title. There is a lot of parity this year, and anyone can beat you if you’re not focused at any time.”

Veteran players — senior midfielders Kaylee Elwood and Emily Schrag, junior midfielder Emerson Johngarlo and sophomore forward Riley Koziatek — lead the way in scoring for the Cavaliers. 

Knights on the rise

Last year, Knoch won just one game. But things are looking up for the program, and on Saturday, the Knights doubled last year’s win total with a 4-1 victory over Armstrong.

The team is relatively young with just four seniors and two juniors on a roster with eight sophomores and 12 freshmen. Coach Greg Hess said he saw progress over the first couple of weeks of the season.

Freshman standout Macrina Robb tallied a hat trick in the win over Armstrong, and fellow freshman Laurel Hull added a goal and an assist. Junior Grace Foehringer made five saves. 

Through six games, Robb led the team with nine goals and four assists. Sophomore Megan Vasas and freshman Brooke Galcik had two goals apiece.

Knoch was scheduled for a rematch with Armstrong on Tuesday evening.

Playoff planning 

Girls soccer teams could find out the structure of the WPIAL playoffs soon.

The WPIAL soccer committee meets Friday to see if changes to the brackets are necessary. Currently, four teams and ties from each section qualify. Section play is set to conclude Oct. 15.

The PIAA established state-playoff brackets last week with a big change for soccer and other fall sports. For soccer, only the WPIAL champions move on to the PIAA tournaments.

The first round of states is scheduled to start Nov. 10 with the quarterfinals Nov. 14, the semifinals Nov. 17 and the finals Nov. 20-21.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at mlove@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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