Westmoreland soccer playoff preview capsules for games of Oct. 24, 2022

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Sunday, October 23, 2022 | 6:39 PM


WPIAL soccer playoffs preview

Monday’s games

Girls

Class 3A

First round

12-Ringgold (11-6-1) at 5-Latrobe (10-2-2)

6:30 p.m. Monday at Rossi Field, Latrobe

Winner plays: Winner of 13-West Allegheny (11-7)/4-Thomas Jefferson (16-2) 6:30 p.m. Thursday in quarterfinals (site TBD)

Players to watch: Elizabeth Wilson, MF, Ringgold; Sofia DeCerb, GK, Latrobe

Corner kicks: Ringgold took third in Section 2. The Rams are 4-0-1 in their last five games, which includes a 2-1 win over Belle Vernon. The team started 5-1. Ringgold did not make the playoffs the last two years. … Talented Latrobe is considered a contender in 3A, although the Wildcats are seeking their first playoff win in program history. The Wildcats feature Division I commits in DeCerb (James Madison), Regan Reilly (Bowling Green), and Ella Bulava (Maryland). Latrobe has seven straight wins and is 9-0-1 in its last 10. It has 10 shutouts, including seven in a row.

9-Franklin Regional (10-5-2) at 8-South Fayette (11-4-1)

6:30 p.m. Monday at South Fayette Stadium, McDonald

Winner plays: Winner of 16-Penn-Trafford (7-6-4)/17-Connellsville (8-9)/1-Mars (14-0) 6:30 p.m. Thursday in quarterfinals (site TBD)

Players to watch: Sierra Todero, MF, Franklin Regional; Olivia Renk, MF, South Fayette

Corner kicks: This is a rematch of last year’s quarterfinal that was won by South Fayette, 2-1, on penalty kicks. Franklin Regional plays a tight defensive style that aims to frustrate opponents and limit goals. All 10 of the Panthers’ wins, and all five losses, have come via shutout. Latrobe beat No. 3 Plum, 1-0, earlier in the season. Their ties are against Montour and Penn-Trafford. … South Fayette finished 9-3 and second in Section 4 behind No. 2 seed Moon (16-0). Also a defensive-minded team, the Lions have flown under the radar in terms of rankings but remain a dangerous team. They lost 2-1 to 4A No. 2 Mt. Lebanon, 1-0 to 4A No. 6 Bethel Park and tied 4A No. 3 Peters Township, 1-1.

16-Penn-Trafford (8-6-4) at 1-Mars (14-0)

6:30 p.m. Monday, Mars Athletic Complex, Mars

Winner plays: Winner of 9-Franklin Regional (10-5-2)/8-South Fayette (11-4-1), 6:30 p.m. Thursday (site TBD) in quarterfinals

Players to watch: Emilie Oslosky, MF, Penn-Trafford; Piper Coffield, F, Mars

Corner kicks: With a 3-1 win over Connellsville in the preliminary round, Penn-Trafford posted its first playoff win since 2017 when the team won a WPIAL title. Oslosky had two goals, one on a penalty kick, and Jess Gadagno had a goal and an assist. … Mars will put its 77-game unbeaten streak on the line as it begins another playoff run. The Fightin Planets have won three straight WPIAL and PIAA championships. They have outscored teams this season 96-3. Only Hampton, Indiana and Greensburg Central Catholic have scored on them. Among numerous goal-scoring threats are Coffield, Addison Girdwood and Ava Lewis.

Boys

Class 2A

First round

12-West Mifflin (11-6-1) at 5-Belle Vernon (13-4)

6:30 p.m. Monday at James Weir Stadium, Belle Vernon

Winner plays: Winner of 13-Hopewell (8-7)/4-Deer Lakes (16-2) 6:30 p.m. Thursday in quarterfinals (site TBD)

Players to watch: Nick Kosuda, MF, West Mifflin; Trevor Kovatch, F, Belle Vernon

Corner kicks: West Mifflin, the third-place team in Section 1, returns to the playoffs after a four-year absence. Kosuda and Aiden Marks are scoring threats for the Titans. A tough schedule includes losses to Thomas Jefferson and Plum. … Section 3 champion Belle Vernon was surging with nine straight wins when it lost its final two games, a pair of 2-1 losses to McGuffey and Charleroi. Still, the Leopards are big on depth and organization. Kovatch has a team-leading 28 goals. Also watch Dylan Timko and Nathanial Kikel on the attack. The Leopards are seeking their first playoff win since 2019.

16-Mt. Pleasant (8-8-2) at 1-South Park (17-0)

6:30 p.m. Monday at Eagles Stadium, South Park

Winner plays: Winner of 9-Knoch (10-8)/8-McGuffey (12-5-1) 6:30 p.m. Thursday in quarterfinals (site TBD)

Players to watch: Luke Rivardo, MF, Mt. Pleasant; Kaiden Fischer, MF, South Park

Corner kicks: Mt. Pleasant finished fourth in Section 3 behind Belle Vernon, McGuffey and Brownsville. The Vikings have not strung together two wins since early September. Rivardo and Chase McCloy are key scorers for the Vikings, but watch Robbie Labuda, who also is the leading rusher on the football team. … South Park is the only undefeated team in WPIAL boys soccer. The Eagles are strong in the run of play and on set pieces, but their defense has allowed just six goals, three of which came in a 4-3 win over Keystone Oaks on Sept. 1. They have eight clean sheets in a row. South Park also went unbeaten in the regular season last year but lost in the quarterfinals to North Catholic, 1-0. Its regular season winning streak stands at 36.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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