A-K Valley WPIAL soccer playoff capsules for Oct. 23, 2023

Sunday, October 22, 2023 | 4:41 PM


Class 2A

First round

10-Elizabeth Forward (10-6-1) at 7-Knoch (11-7)

7 p.m. Monday

Winner plays: Winner of 2-Quaker Valley (14-3)/15-Jeannette (10-7-1) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Will Sinay, Elizabeth Forward; Mason Nebel, Knoch

Throw-ins: Elizabeth Forward tied for third in Section 1 with East Allegheny at 9-4-1. The Warriors won four of their last six games. In addition to Sinay, Luca Valerio, Carson Ruffing, Hugo Davila-Sanz, Evan Marasco and Aidan Davis are offensive threats. … Knoch finished third in Section 2, a half-game behind Shady Side Academy. The Knights, who outscored opponents 87-29, have won six straight games. Knoch has relied on a balanced scoring attack led by Nebel, Sam Caldwell and Austin Friedline.

14-Hopewell (9-6) at 3-Deer Lakes (14-2)

7 p.m. Monday

Winner plays: 6-Shady Side Academy (12-4-1)/11-Beaver (10-6) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Aiden Mukanos-Kramer, Hopewell; Collin Rodgers, Deer Lakes

Throw-ins: Hopewell finished fourth in Section 4 at 6-6. The Vikings have won three of their past four games, including shutouts over Mohawk and Freedom. They have outscored opponents 59-21. … Deer Lakes begins defense of the 2022 WPIAL title and has won four straight games since a 6-2 loss to Shady Side Academy on Sept. 28. The Lancers have won nine of their past 10. They have outscored opponents 117-17.


Class 3A

First round

15-Kiski Area (7-9-2) at 2-Plum (15-0-1)

7 p.m. Monday

Winner plays: Winner of 10-Franklin Regional (11-5-1)/7-Montour (12-2-3) on Thursday in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Ava Weleski, Plum; Camryn Kunz, Kiski Area

Throw-ins: Plum enters the tournament after finishing off its fifth straight section championship. The Mustangs went 12-0 in Section 3, outscoring their section opponents 50-7. Plum went a combined 58-2 in section the past five years. Plum, which is making its A-K Valley-record 12th straight WPIAL-playoff appearance, fell to Moon in last year’s WPIAL semifinals and PIAA quarterfinals. Weleski, a senior, leads the team in scoring this season. … This game is a rematch of a first-round contest last year won by Plum, 9-0. …Kiski Area is no stranger to recent WPIAL tournaments. It is the Cavaliers’ eighth straight trip. They finished fourth in Section 1 behind Mars, Hampton and Oakland Catholic at 5-5-2 (17 points). Kiski Area took No. 1 seed Mars, the winner of three straight WPIAL crowns from 2019-22 and eight overall in program history, to the limit before falling 1-0 at home Sept. 18. Kunz, a junior, and fellow junior Sophia Hranica are two offensive-minded players to watch for the Cavaliers.

Michael Love is a TribLive reporter covering sports in the Alle-Kiski Valley and the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh. A Clearfield native and a graduate of Westminster (Pa.), he joined the Trib in 2002 after spending five years at the Clearfield Progress. He can be reached at mlove@triblive.com.

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