Springdale, Plum land No. 2 seeds for WPIAL girls soccer playoffs

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Wednesday, October 20, 2021 | 4:36 PM


The Springdale and Plum girls soccer teams each captured section championships in the regular season, and both the Dynamos and Mustangs lead the Alle-Kiski Valley with No. 2 seeds for the upcoming WPIAL playoffs.

The pairings for each of the four boys and four girls tournaments were released Wednesday afternoon.

Greensburg Central Catholic (12-1) and Springdale (16-1) split their season series in Section 1-A, and the Centurions and Dynamos are the top two seeds in Class A.

Springdale, in the WPIAL playoffs for the fifth straight season, opens postseason action at 1 p.m. Saturday against No. 15 Bentworth at Kiski Area. It is a rematch of a first-round game last year won by the Dynamos, 4-1.

“We had a great regular season with only that one loss to GCC, splitting a really good series with them,” said Springdale coach Marc Bentley, who helped guide the Dynamos to their first section title since 2010 when they made it to both the WPIAL and PIAA semifinals.

“We have had a lot of players who have made an impact, from freshmen to seniors. Everyone is confident and excited to get to work now that the playoffs are here.”

The Plum girls are the Class 3A No. 2 seed for the third year in a row. The Mustangs, who host No. 15 Laurel Highlands at 6:30 p.m. Monday, hope to again make a run to the WPIAL championship game and get over the hump.

Plum lost to Mars, 4-0, in the title game at Highmark Stadium in 2019 and fell 1-0 to the Fightin’ Planets in the championship matchup last year at North Allegheny. Mars (12-0-1) is the No. 1 seed.

The Mustangs (16-1), who captured their third straight Section 3 title this season, won six in a row heading into a nonsection playoff tune-up against Hampton, the No. 7 seed in Class 3A.

The eight WPIAL boys and girls championship games will be Nov. 4-6 at Highmark Stadium.

Multiple teams in all eight brackets will qualify for the state playoffs, a return to normalcy after the PIAA last year limited the state qualifiers to just the district champions because of covid limitations and logistics.

The Plum boys, the No. 4 seed in Class 3A, hope for a longer run in the WPIAL tournament this year. The Mustangs, who finished tied with Franklin Regional for the Section 4 title at 13-1, were stunned last year, as the No. 4 seed, by South Fayette in the first round.

“Everyone is excited,” said Plum coach Raf Kolankowski, whose team went 14-0-1 after a 1-2 start to clinch its third straight Section 3 championship.

“The boys are feeling confident, but I keep telling them not to be overconfident. If we play our game and play to our potential, I think we can make a deep run this year.”

Four other boys teams earned single-digit seeds. Fox Chapel, the runner-up to Seneca Valley in Section 1, is the No. 5 seed in the Class 4A bracket and will host Penn-Trafford at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Kiski Area, the No. 6 seed in Class 3A, will host Gateway at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Deer Lakes, the defending Class 2A boys champ, is the No. 7 seed in Class 2A and hosts East Allegheny at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Springdale, the No. 8 seed in Class A, meets Seton LaSalle at 6 p.m. Tuesday, at Elizabeth Forward.

In Class 2A, Leechburg is the No. 11 seed and will visit Ambridge at 6:30 p.m. Monday. Burrell, the No. 15 seed, will play at No. 2 Quaker Valley, also at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

A pair of girls teams own No. 9 seeds. Deer Lakes, which defeated Burrell, 4-3, on Monday to clinch second place in Section 2-2A, travels to Yough at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, while Fox Chapel opens Class 4A tournament play at Bethel Park at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

Also set for playoff action on the girls side in Class 2A are No. 11 Burrell at Avonworth at 8 p.m. Tuesday, and No. 14 Freeport at South Park, also at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Kiski Area, the No. 13 seed in the Class 3A bracket, travels to Connellsville at 6:30 p.m. Monday.

For the second year in a row, Apollo-Ridge crafted a record (7-5) in Section 1-A that normally would have the Vikings playoff bound. But a clerical error made last year at the start of this two-year cycle made the Vikings ineligible for the Class A tournament.

Apollo-Ridge finished tied for third with Serra Catholic, behind Springdale and GCC. Fifth-place Riverview (4-8, 4-8), back this fall after not fielding a team last year, moved up into playoff position. The Raiders are seeded No. 14 and will face Steel Valley at Campbell Field in Munhall at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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

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