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

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Tuesday, June 21, 2022 | 1:13 PM


The WPIAL released 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 girls soccer season:

2021 WPIAL championship

Class 4A: Moon 4, Seneca Valley 0

Class 3A: Mars 2, Plum 1

Class 2A: Avonworth 2, North Catholic 1 (2OT)

Class A: Steel Valley 2, Greensburg C.C. 1 (OT)

Notable changes

• The Moon girls soccer team won WPIAL and PIAA titles last season in Class 4A. If the Tigers are to repeat, they will do so against a new set of opponents.

Moon will drop to Class 3A this fall, joining Blackhawk, Chartiers Valley, Montour, South Fayette, Trinity and West Allegheny in Section 4.

One team that notably moved out of Section 4 is two-time WPIAL and PIAA Class 3A champion Mars. The Fightin’ Planets, who are riding a 63-game unbeaten streak, will play in Section 1-3A with Armstrong, Obama Academy, Hampton, Indiana, Kiski Area and Oakland Catholic.

• Adding to the Class 3A contenders’ field will be Penn-Trafford and Latrobe, which both dropped down from Class 4A. Both teams will play in Section 3 with Franklin Regional, Gateway, Greensburg Salem, Penn Hills and WPIAL finalist Plum.

• Elizabeth Forward also is joining Class 3A, moving up from 2A.

• Class 4A is changing from a three-section alignment of 19 teams to a two-section group of 16 teams.

Allderdice and Fox Chapel join a northern suburbs-heavy conference.

Hempfield and Norwin will compete in Section 2 with mostly South Hills teams.

• Class 2A will have several new teams. Central Valley (Section 1), Knoch (Section 2) and Woodland Hills (Section 3) dropped from 3A. Apollo-Ridge (Section 2) and Ligonier Valley (Section 3) moved up from Class A.

Section 2 will remain A-K Valley centered with Apollo-Ridge, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport, Highlands, Knoch and Valley. Shady Side Academy moved to Section 4.

• There was a shakeup in Class A as well, with South Allegheny and Waynesburg Central dropping down from 2A. They slotted into Section 2, replacing Seton LaSalle and Steel Valley, which moved to Section 1 with WPIAL finalist Greensburg Central Catholic, Jeannette, Riverview, Serra Catholic and Springdale.

In addition, OLSH moved from Section 3 to 4, while Eden Christian and Sewickley Academy moved from Section 4 to 3.

Out of the WPIAL

• Brashear will not play in the WPIAL for this two-year cycle. 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.

The Bulls were 0-10 overall and 0-9 in Section 3-3A last season.

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: Allderdice, Butler, Fox Chapel, North Allegheny, North Hills, Pine-Richland, Seneca Valley, Shaler

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

Class 3A (29 teams)

Section 1: Armstrong, Obama Academy*, Hampton, Indiana, Kiski Area, Mars, Oakland Catholic

Section 2: Albert Gallatin, Belle Vernon, Connellsville, Elizabeth Forward, Thomas Jefferson, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Uniontown*

Section 3: Greensburg Salem, Gateway, Penn-Trafford, Franklin Regional, Penn Hills, Plum, Latrobe

Section 4: Blackhawk*, Chartiers Valley, Montour, Moon, South Fayette, Trinity, West Allegheny

Class 2A (26 teams)

Section 1: Ambridge, Avonworth*, Beaver, Central Valley, Hopewell, North Catholic, Quaker Valley

Section 2: Apollo-Ridge*, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport, Highlands, Knoch, Valley

Section 3: East Allegheny, Ligonier Valley, Mt. Pleasant, Southmoreland, Woodland Hills, Yough

Section 4: Brownsville, Keystone Oaks, McGuffey, Shady Side Academy, South Park, West Mifflin

Class A (27 teams)

Section 1: Greensburg C.C., Jeannette, Riverview, Serra Catholic, Seton LaSalle, Springdale, Steel Valley

Section 2: Bentworth, Beth-Center, Charleroi, Chartiers-Houston, Monessen*, South Allegheny, Waynesburg Central

Section 3: Eden Christian Academy, Freedom, Mohawk, Neshannock, Riverside, Sewickley Academy, South Side

Section 4: Aquinas Academy, Bishop Canevin, Carlynton, OLSH, Ellis School, Winchester Thurston

*Cooperative sponsorship

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

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