A-K Valley notebook: Freeport girls soccer eyes high playoff seed

Monday, October 16, 2017 | 7:18 PM

With the final day of WPIAL section soccer taking place Monday, boys and girls can begin focusing on the postseason.

The WPIAL soccer committee will meet Wednesday morning to set up playoff pairings, with the brackets released later that day. The first games begin Saturday, with the championship games scheduled for Nov. 2-4 at Highmark Stadium.

Of the Alle-Kiski Valley's 14 postseason qualifiers in boys and girls soccer, the Freeport girls likely will receive the highest seed after finishing as Class AA runner-up last season. The Yellowjackets (13-2-1, 10-0-1) won the Section 2-AA championship for the second consecutive year — the first time they achieved that in school history.

Other girls playoff qualifiers include Fox Chapel, Kiski Area and Plum in Class AAAA; Burrell, Deer Lakes and Springdale in Class AA; and Apollo-Ridge in Class A.

The playoff boys teams are Fox Chapel and Plum in Class AAAA, Deer Lakes and Freeport in Class AA and Riverview and Springdale in Class A.

Streaks continue, droughts end

Fox Chapel continued the longest playoff streak of any A-K Valley boys soccer team by qualifying for the 18th consecutive season, during which the Foxes finished as WPIAL runner-up on four occasions.

Fox Chapel also holds the longest girls soccer playoff streak among local teams; the Section 3-AAAA champions made it for the 10th straight year.

Other A-K Valley teams with playoff streaks of at least five years include the Plum girls (six) and Freeport girls (five).

The longest drought belonged to the Deer Lakes girls, who made the playoffs for the first time since 2011. The Springdale girls made it back one year after seeing a nine-season playoff streak end. The Riverview boys got back after two years away.

Running with it

Deer Lakes' cross country program keeps on running, with a busy weekend serving as evidence.

After the Lancers competed in the Slippery Rock Invitational on Saturday at Cooper's Lake Campground, several members of the team got in more running the next day at the Pittsburgh Penguins 6.6K Run and Family Walk.

“I told the kids this would be a great recovery run,” first-year coach Desiree Rotondo said.

Rotondo, an avid runner whose past races included the Paris Marathon, said she invited her athletes and their parents to participate in Pittsburgh events to grow their interest in running. A handful took part in the Great Race in September, and about the same in the Penguins event.

The cross country program began as a club team at Deer Lakes in 2015, after former student Alex Herman competed independently at the 2014 WPIAL and PIAA championships. The Lancers officially joined the WPIAL in 2016, and they'll compete next week at the WPIAL Class AA championships back at Cooper's Lake.

“They're really running well this year,” Rotondo said. “They're making a lot of improvements. Their times are getting a lot faster. We have our hearts set on making it to the state competition. That's our goal right now, (and) we're working really hard for that.”

Scheuneman honored

Now the athletic director at North Hills, Amy Scheuneman has her finger on the pulse of every sport in the Indians athletic department. Nearly two decades ago, however, her athletic focus was a little more sharply focused, as she excelled in soccer, cross country and track and field at Plum.

Scheuneman's sporting exploits, from Plum to Robert Morris to her contributions to athletic administration for more than a decade, were recognized, honored and celebrated last week with enshrinement into the 50th class of the East Boros Chapter of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame.

Scheuneman earned 14 varsity letters at Plum and was a four-year all-section performer. As a senior, she was named a soccer captain, led the 1998 Plum girls team to the WPIAL playoffs for the first time in 10 years and earned All-WPIAL honors. In track, she was a member of the 400 relay which held the school record for a period of time.

In 2003, after her graduation from Robert Morris, Scheuneman became the youngest athletic director in the WPIAL as she accepted the position at Avonworth. She also served as the AD at Bethel Park before arriving at her current position.

Michael Love contributed. Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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