Westmoreland boys soccer playoff capsules
Tuesday, October 22, 2019 | 8:53 PM
WPIAL boys soccer playoffs
6-Norwin (16-2-1) at 3-Seneca Valley (13-3-1)
8 p.m. Wednesday at NexTier Stadium
Winner plays: Winner of 2-Mt. Lebanon (13-4-1)/7-Butler (13-5-1) Saturday in semifinals
Coaches: Scott Schuchert, Norwin; George Williams, Seneca Valley
Players to watch: Ian Brown, Jr., D, Norwin; Luke Rupert, Sr., F, Seneca Valley
Corner kicks: This a rematch of last year’s WPIAL championship, which Seneca Valley won, 5-2, to claim its first title in the sport. Norwin opened this year’s tournament with a 3-1 victory over Baldwin as Ethan Snyder, Ian Brown and Brendan Ash scored for the Knights. Andrew Yanez made six saves in the win. … Section 1 champion Seneca Valley had a first-round bye. The Raiders lost to Norwin in the second game of the season, 1-0, but they went 12-2-1 from there with six shutouts. Rupert scored twice in last year’s title game win over Norwin.
1-Franklin Regional (16-0-1) vs. 8-Trinity (14-4)
8 p.m. Wednesday at Fox Chapel
Winner plays: Winner of 4-Belle Vernon (17-1)/12-Blackhawk (11-3-4) Saturday in semifinals
Coaches: Rand Hudson, Franklin Regional; Ryan Julian, Trinity
Players to watch: Connor Hudson, Sr., MF, Franklin Regional; Elijah Cincinnati, Jr., MF, Trinity
Corner kicks: Defending champion Franklin Regional throttled Laurel Highlands in the opening round, 16-0, as 13 players scored for the Panthers. Nolan Scholze had a goal and two assists, and Zach Lorenz, Blake Cooper and Sam Dawson had two scores apiece for the Panthers, who have not lost a regular-season game in two-plus seasons. They have 14 shutouts this season and have allowed just three goals. … Cincinnati and Jacaob Paez scored for the Hillers in the first round. Trinity also has been known to put up the goals, scoring 25 times in two games against Uniontown, and 16 against Washington. The Hillers split with Belle Vernon in Section 3, including a 7-0 shutout for the fourth-seeded Leopards’ only loss.
4-Belle Vernon (17-1) vs. 12-Blackhawk (11-3-4)
6 p.m. Wednesday at Canon-McMillan
Winner plays: Winner of 1-Franklin Regional (16-0-1)/8-Trinity (14-4) Saturday in semifinals
Coaches: Rob Miele, Belle Vernon; Jerrod Rebich, Blackhawk
Players to watch: Daniel Sassak, So., F, Belle Vernon; Noah Finkbeiner, Jr., MF, Blackhawk
Corner kicks: Belle Vernon opened the postseason with a 1-0 win over Indiana as Nathaniel Kikel scored in the first half and goalkeeper T.J. Watson made two saves. The Leopards lost by the same score, against Kiski Area, last year in the first Tyler Kovatch leads the team in assists with 11. Daniel Sassak has a team-best 29 goals and Niko Apodiakos has 15. round. Belle Vernon last reached the semifinals in 2012. … Blackhawk advanced with a 1-0 upset of No. 5 South Fayette as Finkbeiner scored with 26 minutes, 33 seconds remaining in the first-round game. The Cougars have a nine-game unbeaten streak.
2-Greensburg Central Catholic (12-3-1) vs. 7-Avonworth (15-3)
6 p.m. Wednesday at Fox Chapel
Winner plays: Winner of 14-Bishop Canevin (10-6-2)/6-Springdale (14-3) Saturday in semifinals
Coaches: Tyler Solis, GCC: Tom Angell, Avonworth
Players to watch: Nate Ward, Sr., F, GCC; Johnathon Nicolaus, Sr., F, Avonworth
Corner kicks: GCC and Avonworth met in the WPIAL championship last year with the Antelopes winning on penalty kicks. Ward sent the game to overtime but Avonworth backup goalie Luke Wagner stood tall in a 6-5 shootout win. GCC got two goals from Ward after Mohawk took a 1-0 lead and rode a second-half surge into the quarterfinals. Mason Fabean and Jacob Gretz also scored for the Centurions. … Avonworth also edged GCC in the PIAA semifinals, 1-0, at Fox Chapel. Nicolaus scored twice, Tyler Bryan had a goal and an assist, and Lucas Schriefer also had a goal for the Antelopes in this year’s first round. They trailed, 3-2, in the second half. Aymeric Verdier had three assists.
— Bill Beckner Jr.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .