Westmoreland girls soccer preview capsules: Games of Monday, Oct. 28, 2019

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Sunday, October 27, 2019 | 9:22 PM


WPIAL girls soccer playoffs

Semifinals

Class AAAA

1-Norwin (17-1) vs. 5-Seneca Valley (13-3-2)

8 p.m. Monday at North Allegheny

Winner plays: Winner of 2-Peters Township (17-1-1)/3-North Allegheny (15-2-1) in championship (time, date TBD) at Highmark Stadium

Coaches: Leslie Kaminski, Norwin; Mark Perry, Seneca Valley

Players to watch: Lacey Bernick, Jr., MF, Norwin; Breana Valentovish, Sr., MF, Seneca Valley

Corner kicks: Norwin is coming off a nail-biter against Fox Chapel in the quarterfinals. The Knights staved off elimination when Eva Frankovic scored with 4:55 left in overtime for a 4-3 win. Kennedy Soliday, Paloma Swankler and Abby Bartos also scored for Norwin , which is making its fifth straight semifinal appearance. Katelynn Kauffman leads Norwin with 19 goals. The Knights won back-to-back WPIAL titles in 2015-16 and took the PIAA championship in ‘17. … Defending WPIAL champion Seneca Valley defeated Norwin, 4-3, earlier in the season and last year, 3-1 . The Raiders edged No. 3 Moon, 1-0, in the quarterfinals.

Seneca Valley swept Fox Chapel in Section 1 play, 3-0 and 5-1.

Class AAA

5-Belle Vernon (16-3) vs. 1-Mars (16-0-1)

8 p.m. Monday at Canon-McMillan

Winner plays: Winner of Plum/West Allegheny in championship (time, date TBD) at Highmark Stadium

Coaches: Tracy Lovett, Belle Vernon; Blair Gerlach, Mars

Players to watch: Grace Henderson, Jr., MF, Belle Vernon; Ellie Coffield, Jr., MF, Mars

Corner kicks: Belle Vernon has a balanced and deep lineup, one good enough to make it to the finals. But Mars will provide their most stringent test. Autumn Forte had the lone goal for the Leopards in a 1-0 quarterfinal win over fourth-seeded Oakland Catholic. Morgan Einodshofer assisted the score on a corner kick. Belle Vernon’s last trip to the semifinals was in 2012. Belle Vernon had three 20-plus goal-scorers in the regular season: Jillian Butchki (38), Farrah Reader (25) and Morgan Einodshofer (24).. … Preseason favorite Mars, the WPIAL runner-up last year, stayed unbeaten with a 7-0 shutout victory over No. 9 Thomas Jefferson. Taylor Hamlett and Londynn Gonzalez each scored twice for the Planets, while Caroline Wroblewski, Gracie Dunaway and Julia Gagnon had one goal apiece. Ellie Coffield (20 goals) is one of the top players in the classificaton. She recently committed to Pitt. Mars has given up just eight goals.

Class AA

5-Yough (16-1-1) vs. 8-Freeport (16-4)

6 p.m. Monday at Mars

Winner plays: Winner of 3-South Park (13-3-1)/2-North Catholic (12-4) in championship (time, date TBD) at Highmark Stadium

Coaches: Dann Appolonia, Yough; Brittni Grenninger, Freeport

Players to watch: Hadley Sleith, Sr., MF, Yough; Sidney Shemanski, Sr., F, Freeport

Corner kicks: Yough took down No. 4 Burrell, which had been unbeaten and untied, 1-0 in the quarterfinals as a first-half goal by Amber Biros held up. Natalie Vilchek set up the score with a precise corner kick to the far post. The Cougars made the semifinals in 2017 but lost Freedom, 3-0. Senior Justine Appolonia, a Youngstown State commit, leads Yough with 32 goals. McKenzie Pritts has 23 scores. Yough, which erupted for 10 goals in a first-round win over Highlands, never has won a WPIAL title in girls soccer. … Freeport stunned No. 1 Hopewell, 2-1, in the quarters as freshman Akina Boynton found the back of the net with just less than 30 seconds to play. Freeport also last made the semifinals in 2017., falling to Waynesburg, 7-0. Standout Shemanski (34 goals) also scored for the Yellowjackets and goalkeeper Maddy Zarichnak made 11 saves. Freeport has 10 shutouts. It lost twice to Burrell by scores of 3-2 and 7-1

Class A

5-Greensburg Central Catholic (13-3) vs. 1-Freedom (20-0)

6 p.m. Monday at North Allegheny

Winner plays: Winner of 2-Bentworth (18-1)/3-Shady Side Academy (15-1) in championship (time, date TBD) at Highmark Stadium

Coaches: Ashley Davis, GCC; Colin Williams, Freedom

Players to watch: Sam Nemeth, Sr., MF, GCC; Renae Mohrbacher, So., MF, Freedom

Corner kicks: Greensburg Central Catholic advanced to its 10th consecutive WPIAL semifinal. The Centurions lost in this round to Bentworth last year. The Nemeths — Sam (2) and Jessica — each scored in a 4-0 shutout of Seton La Salle in the quarterfinals. Fast-paced GCC has nine shutouts and relies on a balanced attack that also features Tatum Gretz (18 goals), Brenna Springer and Ashley McWillliams. Sam Nemeth also has 18 goals. GCC has won five WPIAL titles and a PIAA title since 2011. It has not missed the postseason since 1997 and hasn’t lost more than five games in a season since 2002. … High-scoring Freedom is seeking its third title in four years. It won the WPIAL last year and finished second in the state. The Bulldogs have remained proficient despite the transfer of star goal-scorer Jayden Sharpless to North Catholic. Julia Mohrbacher scored twice as as Freedom defeated No. 8 Bishop Canevin in the quarters. Jessica Scheel also had and goalie Morgan Schwab helped to produce a shutout. Renae Mohrbacher has 55 goals. Julia Mohrbacher has 29. Freedom has 110 goals and has allowed 23.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

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