Deer Lakes boys, Plum girls earn No. 2 seeds in WPIAL soccer playoffs

Wednesday, October 21, 2020 | 5:05 PM

When the WPIAL soccer playoff brackets were announced Wednesday, not one A-K Valley soccer team found itself named a No. 1 seed.

But the Deer Lakes boys and the Plum girls did earn No. 2 seeds, and they will both look to work their way back to the WPIAL final after reaching it just a year ago.

After capturing a piece of the Section 2-2A championship for the third straight year, the Lancers (11-1) were hoping for, and thought they deserved, the No. 1 seed in Class 2A.

The WPIAL thought otherwise though as they named Shady Side Academy (11-2) the top seed. Although it was disappointing, Deer Lakes coach Dan Yates said it might work out for his team.

“It might fire them up. It might be a blessing in disguise really,” Yates said.

The No. 2 Lancers will host No. 15 Southmoreland at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The Class 2A bracket turned out to be very interesting. Defending PIAA and WPIAL champion Quaker Valley wasn’t able to participate in the playoffs due to a coronavirus exposure in recent weeks.

After playing Quaker Valley on Oct. 14, No. 3 North Catholic’s varsity team also quarantined, and they’ll be using their JV team and a few basketball players for their first-round match up with No. 14 Leechburg (7-6), which is making its first playoff appearance in just the program’s second year.

“This is really a dream come true,” Leechburg coach Brad Walker said. “I didn’t expect it. Our team didn’t expect it. I just hope the boys don’t take it for granted and we capitalize on best opportunity that was presented to us because I don’t think it could’ve played out any better.”

The teams will play at 6 p.m. Monday at Mars. The Trojans have a return date of Oct. 28 set for their varsity team.

Fox Chapel (10-3) earned the No. 4 seed in Class 4A. The Foxes will host the winner of No. 5 Upper St. Clair and No. 12 Connellsville on Oct. 31. Plum (13-1) earned the No. 4 seed in Class 3A and will take on No. 13 South Fayette at noon Saturday.

Kiski Area, Knoch, Burrell and Springdale also made the boys field.

No. 15 Knoch (7-8) will travel to No. 2 Franklin Regional at noon Saturday. The Cavaliers (11-4-1) earned the No. 9 seed and will travel to No. 8 Hampton at noon Saturday.

In Class 2A, Burrell (7-4) earned the No. 11 seed and will visit No. 6 Mt. Pleasant at 6 p.m. Monday. Springdale (10-1) received the No. 5 seed in Class A and will play No. 12 Bentworth at 6 p.m. Tuesday at North Allegheny.

In the girls field, Plum, the Section 3 champ, is the No. 2 seed in the Class 3A bracket. Like last year, the Mustangs (13-0) will host Gateway in the first round. The game is 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Defending Class 3A champion Mars (12-0) is the No. 1 seed.

Plum began its 2019 run to the WPIAL final with an overtime battle against the Gators decided on penalty kicks.

“Gateway’s got a lot of talent, and they are coached very well,” Plum coach Jaime Stewart said. “It will be a battle, as usual, but we’ll have the girls ready to go. Last year, we were one PK away from going home. That experience last year is something we’ve talked about. We know that every team in the playoffs is talented, and each round will be a challenge. We have to be at our best for every game we are able to play.”

Fox Chapel (11-2), champion of Section 3, claimed the No. 3 seed in the Class 4A bracket behind Peters Township (10-1-1) and Butler (9-1).

The Foxes, winners of eight straight to start the season, will open in the quarterfinals against the winner of Monday’s game between No. 6 Moon and No. 11 Pine-Richland. Fox Chapel went to overtime with top-seeded Norwin in last year’s quarterfinals before the Knights prevailed.

“We know we put ourselves in position to be a higher seed, and hopefully we can make something positive come from that,” Foxes coach Peter Torres said. “Both Moon and Pine-Richland present some interesting matchups and real challenges for us or any team that would have to face them. We know the quarterfinals are going to be a battle.”

Kiski Area, Burrell, Deer Lakes, Freeport and Springdale are also in the field.

Kiski Area, which advanced to the WPIAL Class 3A quarterfinals each of the past two seasons, is the No. 10 seed and will play at No. 7 Thomas Jefferson at 6:30 p.m. Monday. The Cavaliers (8-6-2) finished third in Section 1 behind No. 3 Hampton and No. 5 Franklin Regional.

Burrell, runner-up to No. 2 seed Shady Side Academy in Section 2-2A, is seeded sixth and will host Mt. Pleasant at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. The Bucs (7-3) made the quarterfinals last year.

Deer Lakes (10-6) and Freeport (6-5-2) finished tied for third in Section 2. The Lancers, the No. 12 seed, open at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at No. 5 Avonworth. The No. 14 Yellowjackets draw No. 3 North Catholic for a first-round game at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Mars.

Springdale, in the WPIAL playoffs for the fourth year in a row, is the No. 8 seed in Class A and will face Bentworth (7-6-1) at 1 p.m. Saturday at Norwin. The Dynamos finished second to top-seed Greensburg Central Catholic (12-0) in the Section 1 standings.

Michael Love is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Michael by email at or via Twitter .

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