Westmoreland County boys soccer notebook: Teams punch tickets to WPIAL playoffs

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | 5:57 PM

The WPIAL playoffs are just around the corner, with tournament play slated to start late next week.

The top four teams in each section qualify for the postseason.

The following Westmoreland County teams have secured playoff spots: Norwin (11-4) in Class 4A; Kiski Area (13-3), Franklin Regional (12-4) and Penn-Trafford (8-8-1) in 3A; Belle Vernon (13-2) and Mt. Pleasant (7-7-2) in 2A; and Greensburg Central Catholic (12-2) and Burrell (14-2) in Class A.

Belle Vernon and GCC clinched section titles, which should boost their seeding.

The WPIAL will announce playoff pairings Wednesday and games will likely start next Saturday.

Pulling rank

Norwin is the newest team to join the TribLive HSSN Class 4A rankings. The streaking Knights, who have won 11 in a row after a 1-4 start, are now No. 5 after not being ranked all season.

Kiski Area remained No. 3 in Class 3A, with Franklin Regional at No. 4.

Greensburg Central Catholic moved up a spot to No. 2 in Class A.

The No. 1 teams are Seneca Valley (4A), Moon (3A), Quaker Valley (2A) and Sewickley Academy (A).

Down in front

Current Franklin Regional players Colton Hudson and Sam Dawson attended the Clemson-Pitt men’s soccer game last week and ran into a celebrity.

Sitting behind them at Ambrose Urbanic Field was Edwin van der Sar, whose son, Joe, plays goalkeeper for the Panthers.

The elder van der Sar was a legendary keeper for Ajax in the Netherlands and Juventus in Italy. He won a pair of UEFA Champions League titles and is considered one of the best keepers ever to play the game.

He also played for the Dutch national team.

Hudson and Dawson took a photo with the former star.

Tap it in

Senior defender Jake Kimmich is a two-sport athlete at Franklin Regional. Like his brother, Luke, he plays soccer and golf for the Panthers.

Last week, in a home win over Gateway, Kimmich showed off a unique celebration after he scored a goal that was a nod to both sports.

After the ball went in the net, Kimmich went into a golf stance and took an air swing, holding the finish as he gazed toward the parking lot.

“I’m just glad to be able to share talented athletes with soccer, hockey and wrestling,” Franklin Regional golf coach Jeff Traphagen said. “Glad these guys think enough of our golf program to incorporate it into their other sports.”

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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