Breaking down changes to the 2022-23 WPIAL boys soccer alignment

Monday, June 20, 2022 | 8:18 AM

The WPIAL has released or will soon release new section alignments for the next two-year cycle in all sports, and changes will be implemented starting this fall.

This summer, the Tribune-Review will break down changes for each of the WPIAL sports.

Here’s a look at the upcoming WPIAL boys soccer season:

2021 WPIAL championship

Class 4A: Seneca Valley 3, Peters Township 1

Class 3A: Hampton 1, West Allegheny 0

Class 2A: Quaker Valley 5, North Catholic 0

Class A: Winchester Thurston 3, Greensburg C.C. 1

Notable changes

• There will be quite a change in Class 4A this season in WPIAL boys soccer.

Four teams are dropping to Class 3A, leading to a switch from a three-section alignment with 21 teams to a two-section grouping for 16 teams.

Section 1 remains mostly intact with Central Catholic joining holdovers Butler, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley and Shaler.

With section rivals Penn-Trafford, Latrobe and Connellsville moving to Class 3A, along with Bethel Park, Section 2 will include a mashup of the remaining Class 4A teams.

That group includes WPIAL finalist Peters Township, which decided to play up to retain rivalries with Canon-McMillan, Mt. Lebanon and Upper St. Clair, among others.

• Enrollment forced North Catholic, which was the WPIAL runner-up in Class 2A last season, up to Class 3A, where it will join a challenging Section 1 that includes reigning 3A champion Hampton, as well as quarterfinalists Mars and Kiski Area. Ambridge, a Class 2A semifinalist last season, also moved up to Class 3A.

• Section 2-2A will have a new look this season. Holdovers Deer Lakes, Derry, Leechburg and Shady Side Academy will welcome Freeport, Greensburg Salem and Knoch, who dropped from 3A, and Jeannette elected to play up a class. Former members Burrell and Ligonier Valley dropped to Class A, and Valley will not play a WPIAL schedule.

Woodland Hills, West Mifflin, Belle Vernon, Washington and Beaver also dropped from Class 3A to 2A. In addition, Riverside was bumped up from Class A to 2A.

• Joining Burrell and Ligonier Valley in dropping from 2A to A are Freedom and Charleroi.

New team

McKeesport will field a boys soccer team this season and will join Section 4-3A with Franklin Regional, Gateway, Latrobe, Obama Academy, Penn Hills, Penn-Trafford and Plum. The Tigers went 4-11 last season and 2-5-1 in 2020 playing a non-league schedule.

Out of WPIAL

• In addition to Valley not playing a WPIAL schedule, Brashear also will not play in the WPIAL this season. Brashear, a City League school, has played in the WPIAL since the 2012-13 season. Fellow City League teams Allderdice and Obama Academy will continue to play in the WPIAL the next two seasons.

New Brighton, which did not field a team last season, also will not have a team with a WPIAL schedule for the next two years.

Key dates

Aug. 15: First practice date

Aug. 21: First scrimmage date

Aug. 26: First play date

Oct. 19: Soccer playoff pairings

Nov. 3-5: WPIAL championship games

Nov. 18-19: PIAA championship games

2022-23 alignment

Class 4A (16 teams)

Section 1: Butler, Central Catholic, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shaler

Section 2: Allderdice, Baldwin, Canon-McMillan, Hempfield, Mt. Lebanon, Norwin, Peters Township, Upper St. Clair

Class 3A (31 teams)

Section 1: Armstrong, Hampton, Highlands, Indiana, Kiski Area, Mars, North Catholic

Section 2: Ambridge, Blackhawk, Central Valley, Chartiers Valley, Montour, Moon, South Fayette, West Allegheny

Section 3: Albert Gallatin*, Bethel Park, Connellsville, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Thomas Jefferson, Trinity, Uniontown*

Section 4: Franklin Regional, Gateway, Latrobe, McKeesport, Obama Academy*, Penn Hills, Penn-Trafford, Plum

Class 2A (31 teams)

Section 1: East Allegheny, Elizabeth Forward, Woodland Hills, Keystone Oaks, South Allegheny, South Park, Steel Valley, West Mifflin

Section 2: Deer Lakes, Derry, Freeport, Greensburg Salem, Knoch, Leechburg*, Shady Side Academy, Jeannette

Section 3: Belle Vernon, Brownsville, McGuffey, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, Washington*, Waynesburg Central, Yough

Section 4: Avonworth*, Beaver, Ellwood City*, Hopewell, Mohawk, Quaker Valley, Riverside

Class A (27 teams)

Section 1: Beaver County Christian, Eden Christian Academy, Freedom, Neshannock, OLSH, Sewickley Academy, South Side

Section 2: Bentworth, Beth-Center, California*, Geibel Catholic, Greensburg C.C., Ligonier Valley

Section 3: Aquinas Academy, Burrell, Riverview, Springdale, St. Joseph, Trinity Christian, Winchester Thurston

Section 4: Bishop Canevin, Brentwood, Carlynton, Chartiers-Houston, Serra Catholic, Seton LaSalle

*Cooperative sponsorship

Bill Hartlep is the sports editor of the Tribune-Review. You can contact Bill at or via Twitter @BHartlep_Trib.

More High School Soccer Boys

PIAA concerned with rising ejection rates among boys soccer players, coaches
Deer Lakes’ Ryan Hanes named 2022 Valley News Dispatch Boys Soccer Player of the Year
Greensburg Central Catholic’s Carlo Denis named 2022 Tribune-Review Westmoreland Boys Soccer Player of the Year
Seneca Valley’s Beau Lizewski leads Trib HSSN Boys Fab 15 Soccer Team
WPIAL boys earn All-America, all-region, all-state soccer accolades