A-K Valley WPIAL soccer playoff capsules for Monday, Oct. 25, 2021
Sunday, October 24, 2021 | 6:05 PM
6:30 p.m. at Quaker Valley Stadium, Leetsdale
Notes: Burrell placed fourth in Section 2 and will look to pull an upset in the first round. The Bucs lost to Mt. Pleasant in the first round last year. Ethan Croushore, Kayden Ireland and Tajean DeGore make up an experienced midfield for the Bucs. … The Quakers were a favorite to win Class 2A last year but withdrew from the playoffs after a covid-19 outbreak. They rolled through Section 4, outscoring opponents 99-0 and have yielded only eight goals all season. Rowan Kriebel and Keller Chamovitz are the Quakers’ leading goal scorers, and Ryan Edwards is the school’s all-time leader in assists. The Quakers are nine-time district champions.
6:30 p.m. at Lancer Stadium, Russellton
Winner plays: Winner of 15-Burrell (7-7)/2- Quaker Valley (15-2) 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Site TBD)
Notes: East Allegheny finished third in Section 1 to complete an impressive turnaround after winning only eight games the past two years combined. It is the first playoff appearance for the Wildcats since 2018. … Defending champion Deer Lakes graduated several major contributors but still placed second in Section 2 behind Shady Side Academy under first-year coach Aaron Smith. The Lancers scored a 2-1 win Oct. 13 at Shady Side Academy, their first win there in four years. Ryan Hanes leads the team in goals. Ruger Beer and Michael Butler also are key players in the attack. The Lancers have a strong keeper in Nick Braun.
6:30 p.m. at Moe Rubenstein Stadium, Ambridge
Winner plays: Winner of 14-Freedom (9-5-1)/3-Shady Side Academy (10-2) 6:30 p.m. Thursday (Site TBD)
Notes: The Blue Devils are in the postseason for the second consecutive year after placing third in Section 1 in their third season as a program. They’ll try for their first playoff victory against a friendly face. Ambridge coach Ben Fiore was an assistant on Leechburg’s staff, and Blue Devils coach Brad Walker coached Fiore when he played at Kiski Area. Gavin Cole and Ashton Redmond lead the attack and goalkeeper Owen McDermott has been strong all season in the net. … Ambridge placed second in Section 4 behind Quaker Valley in Fiore’s first season as coach. The Bridgers knocked off perennial power North Catholic, 3-2, on Sept. 29. Junior forward Will Gruca is the Bridgers’ top player and leading goal scorer.
6:30 p.m. at Bethel Park High School Stadium, Bethel Park
Winner plays: 1-North Allegheny (16-0-1) at 6:30 p.m. Thursday (site TBD)
Notes: Fox Chapel finished third in Section 3 behind section champion Latrobe and Norwin. The Foxes won their final two games in section to secure their standing. Fox Chapel tied and had a 1-0 loss to Latrobe, and it had a pair of 1-0 losses to Norwin. The Foxes are in the playoffs for third year in a row, making the quarterfinals in 2019. Makayla Mulholland, Sydney Schutzman, Kate Friday and Anna Troutman are goal scorers to keep an eye. …. Bethel Park, which tied Mt. Lebanon for third in Section 2, is in the WPIAL playoffs for the second year in a row after a five-year hiatus. The Black Hawks went 5-1-1 overall and 3-1-1 in Section 2 to close out the regular season. Senior Captain Lily Gaston is a Johns Hopkins recruit. She is a main goal-scoring threat for Bethel Park.
6:30 p.m. at Plum Mustangs Stadium, Plum Borough
Notes: Laurel Highlands (8-6) edged Ringgold by one game for the fourth and final playoff spot from Section 2. The Mustangs won five of their final seven section games to secure their spot in the postseason. Sophomore Jocelyn Radcliffe is a leading goal scorer for Laurel Highlands, which is in the playoffs for the sixth year in a row … Plum is the No. 2 seed for the third year in a row after capturing the Section 3 title with a 12-0 record. The Mustangs hope to break through for a championship after falling to Mars in the title game the past two years. Plum has outscored its opponents 106-8 and posted 12 shutouts. The Mustangs edged section rival Oakland Catholic, 3-2, in overtime; topped Fox Chapel, 1-0; and tied Hampton, 0-0, to close out the regular season. Kaitlyn Killinger, Marissa Liberto, Camryn Rogers and Annabel Ahrin are scoring leaders for Plum. Killinger recorded a hat trick in the win over Oakland Catholic.
6:30 p.m. at Falcon Stadium, Connellsville
Notes: Kiski Area is making its seventh straight WPIAL playoff appearance, third in the Alle-Kiski Valley to Plum (10) and Freeport (nine). The Cavaliers finished in fourth place in Section 1 at 7-5. Kiski Area won its final four section matches, outscoring opponents 22-4, to clinch its playoff berth. Faith Andree and Riley Koziatek lead the scoring for the Cavaliers with 10 and seven goals, respectively … Connellsville (13-1) edged Belle Vernon (12-2) by one game for the Section 2 title. The Falcons hope to bounce back from a 12-0 loss to Class AAAA Latrobe in its section finals. It’s only other loss came against Belle Vernon on Oct. 4. Senior Mary Kate Lape, a Kent State commit, is one of the top goal scorers in the WPIAL. She has scored more than 100 career goals for the Falcons.
Jerin Steele is a freelance writer
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