A-K Valley girls soccer teams jockeying for playoff position

Sunday, October 6, 2019 | 6:26 PM

Seven seconds.

That’s all the time that was left on the second-half clock Saturday when Emerson Johngarlo scored the winning goal for Kiski Area in its 2-1 Section 1-AAA girls soccer victory over Franklin Regional that solidified second place in the standings.

Many games like the one between the Cavaliers and Panthers are helping decide section titles, playoff trips or postseason positioning in WPIAL standings from Class A to Class AAAA.

With one week left in the regular season, the drama, including that among teams in the Alle-Kiski Valley, figures to increase.

“It’s exciting,” said Kiski Area coach Mike Spagnolo, whose team has won five straight in section to sit at 9-2, one game ahead of Hampton (8-3) and two behind Mars (11-0) in the Section 1 standings. Franklin Regional is fourth at 6-5.

“We knew Franklin Regional was going to come out and play hard because they are fighting for the playoffs,” Spagnolo said. “We had to keep up our momentum because we have some big games coming up.”

Kiski Area plays Monday at Indiana before getting another crack at Mars on Wednesday. The Cavaliers still are alive for the section title, but they have to win out and get help.

Fox Chapel (8-5-1, 6-4) has surged into sole possession of fourth place in Section 1-AAA behind North Allegheny (9-0), Seneca Valley (7-3) and Butler (6-3).

Fox Chapel edged playoff contender Pine-Richland, 3-2, on Wednesday and got goals from Blair Echnat (two), Britta Lagerquist and Makayla Mulholland in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Shaler.

“We’ve been able to establish a little bit of a rhythm on the field,” said Foxes coach Peter Torres, whose team plays Monday at North Allegheny. “We’re finishing shots, which is productive for us. We’re putting them on target from a variety of players.”

Burrell (12-0, 8-0 Section 2-AA) took a crucial step toward its first section championship since 2005 with a 3-0 win over Deer Lakes on Wednesday. It was the Bucs’ fourth straight shutout and seventh this season.

Burrell visits Apollo-Ridge (6-6, 4-5) on Monday before Wednesday’s home match with Freeport (11-2, 7-2).

The Yellowjackets have won five in a row, including Saturday’s playoff-clinching 4-0 triumph over section foe Valley (5-9, 2-8). Freeport hosts East Allegheny on Monday before facing the Bucs.

Deer Lakes is tied for second in the section with Freeport. The Lancers (10-2-1, 7-2) have matchups at Highlands on Monday and home to Apollo-Ridge on Wednesday.

Freeport and Deer Lakes meet again next Oct. 14 to wrap up the section slate.

Apollo-Ridge and Highlands (4-7, 4-5) begin the week tied for the fourth playoff spot from the section. That WPIAL berth could come down to the section finale between the teams Oct. 14 at Apollo-Ridge.

At least a share of the Section 3-AAA title is on Plum’s mind, especially after moving into a tie for the top spot with Oakland Catholic with a 2-1 win over the Eagles last week.

They both are 7-1 and have split the season series. The Mustangs, 10-1 overall, have won seven straight.

Thomas Jefferson, in third place at 6-3, two points ahead of Trinity (5-3-1), hosts Plum on Monday in the rematch of a 5-3 Mustangs win Sept. 11. Oakland Catholic takes on West Mifflin (2-7).

Springdale has lost six in a row, but the fourth-place Dynamos are one game behind Serra (4-4). Springdale beat Serra, 3-2, in early September. Springdale could clinch as early as Tuesday.

Riverview (1-5) hopes to stay alive against Greensburg Central Catholic on Monday and Serra on Tuesday.

The Raiders and Dynamos meet under the lights Thursday evening as part of Riverview’s annual girls-boys varsity doubleheader at Riverside Park. The games are at 6 and 8 p.m.

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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