Westmoreland County PIAA soccer quarterfinal capsules for Nov. 13, 2021
Friday, November 12, 2021 | 11:01 AM
Noon at Newman Stadium, North Allegheny, McCandless
Winner plays: Winner of 12-2 Archbishop Ryan (8-5-1)/7-2 West Allegheny (22-1) in semifinals Tuesday (time, site TBD)
Corner kicks: Freshman Joey Bayne netted a pair of goals, including the winner with 8 minutes, 56 seconds left in overtime, as Franklin Regional clipped District 10 champion Cathedral Prep, 2-1, in the PIAA first round. The Panthers now have reached the state quarters in three of the last four seasons. They are 3-0 against Cathedral Prep during that time. Bayne also made the clinching penalty kick in the shootout in the WPIAL consolation game, a 2-1 win (4-1 PKs) over Plum. Senior all-state forward Anthony DiFalco leads the Panthers with 30 goals and 26 assists. Freshman goalkeeper Noah Walker got the surprise start when sophomore Aryan Selokar was injured Tuesday in warm-ups. … WPIAL champion Hampton edged past the Panthers, 1-0, in the WPIAL semifinals on a late penalty kick by senior Zach Panza. The Talbots have nine straight wins, seven via shutout, and five straight clean sheets. They found little resistance in a state first-round win over District 6 champ Hollidayburg, 6-0. It broke a string of three consecutive 1-0 wins. The Talbots are 12-0 on the road this season. Panza also had the lone goal in a 1-0 win over West Allegheny in the WPIAL final. Luke Staggers and Gabe Viszlay had 17 goals each during the regular season, and Panza added 15.
Noon at West Allegheny Stadium, Imperial
Winner plays: Winner of 7-1 Winchester Thurston (20-0-1)/10-1 Mercer (12-8) in semifinals Tuesday (time, site TBD)
Corner kicks: Greensburg Central Catholic rebounded from a 3-1 loss to Winchester Thurston in the WPIAL championship game with a 4-2 win over District 5 champion McConnellsburg in the PIAA first round. Kyler Miller had two goals, and Jake Gretz and Carlo Denis added one apiece for the Centurions. The three juniors also contributed an assist, as did freshman Jackson Vacanti. Junior Michael Oldenburg started in goal. He played in the second half against Eden Christian in the WPIAL semifinals when GCC won a wild, 6-5 game in overtime. Vacanti netted the winner with 5:17 left in overtime. Denis had a hat trick, and senior Ryan Reitler had a brace in the victory. GCC reached the PIAA final last year. … Eden Christian squeezed past District 9 champion Brockway, 3-2, to reach the state quarterfinals and earn a rematch with GCC. The win was the first in the PIAA playoffs for the Warriors. In the one-goal loss to GCC in the WPIAL semis, Jack Jones, Malachi Manges and Elijah Kuhlman scored to give Eden a 3-0 lead before the Centurions rallied. The Warriors also built 4-1 and 5-2 leads after goals by Nathan Lomango and Daniel Batch. A goal early in overtime was waved off because of a foul.
7-2 Greensburg Central Catholic (16-2) vs. 7-3 Freedom (16-5)
2 p.m. at West Allegheny Stadium, Imperial
Winner plays: Winner of 7-1 Steel Valley (19-3)/6-1 West Branch (21-0-1) in semifinals Tuesday (time, site TBD)
Corner kicks: WPIAL runner-up Greensburg Central Catholic survived a thriller in the PIAA first round as sophomore Lexi Graham scored the go-ahead goal with about four minutes left in regulation in a 3-2 win over Mercer. Junior Sara Felder had two goals for GCC, which continues to flirt with close finals. The Centurions have played in four straight one-goal games, including a 2-1 loss to Steel Valley in overtime in the WPIAL final. GCC edged Freedom, 4-3, in the semifinals. Freshman Riley Kerr had two goals, and Addison Vacanti and Felder also found the back of the net as GCC fended off the Bulldogs, who clawed back from a pair of three-goal deficits. GCC is trying to make a third straight run to the PIAA semifinals. GCC has beaten Freedom four straight times, including 8-6 earlier in the regular season, and 4-3 and 1-0 in the 2019 postseason. … Senior standout Renae Mohrbacher had a hat trick to power Freedom to a 4-2 win over District 5 champion Windber in the first round. The Bulldogs beat Springdale, 6-0, in the WPIAL third-place game to reach the state tournament. The Bulldogs reached the PIAA quarterfinals two years ago but lost to GCC, 1-0. They reached the state final in 2018 and lost to Southern Columbia, 3-2. Mohrbacher is one of the state’s top scorers. She has 175 career goals.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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