Westmoreland WPIAL soccer playoff capsules: Games for Monday, Oct. 21, 2019
Sunday, October 20, 2019 | 12:01 AM
13-Hempfield (5-8-1) at 4-Moon (14-2-1)
8 p.m. Monday at Tiger Stadium
Winner plays: Winner of 5-Seneca Valley (11-3-2)/12-Canon McMillan (12-6) on Thursday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Adam Shaffer, Hempfield; J.R. Little, Moon
Players to watch: Caroline Czarnecki, Sr., D, Hempfield; Hailey Longwell, Fr., F, Moon
Corner kicks: Hempfield is in the playoffs for the fourth time in the last six seasons and is looking for its first postseason win since 2014. The Spartans placed fourth in Section 3. Czarnecki is a S.C. Aiken recruit. … Moon, which won WPIAL and PIAA titles in 2016 and ’17, will look to make a deep run after losing in the first round last season. Longwell has emerged as a dangerous scoring threat in her first varsity season. The Tigers split the Section 2 title with Peters Township but went 0-1-1 against the Indians this season.
11 Pine-Richland (9-6) at 6-Penn-Trafford (12-6)
8 p.m. Monday at Warrior Stadium
Winner plays: 3-North Allegheny (14-2-1)
Coaches: Jackie Bartko, Penn-Trafford; Jodi Chmielewski, Pine-Richland
Players to watch: Sarah Nguyen, Sr., MF, Penn-Trafford; Megan Donnelly, Jr., F, Pine-Richland
Corner kicks: Penn-Trafford placed second in Section 3 behind rival and top-seeded Norwin. The Warriors started the season 7-1 but went 5-5 in their last 10 games. Nguyen is an Akron recruit. … Pine-Richland had to win its final two section games to finish in a tie for fourth with Fox Chapel in the Section 1 standings. The Rams have won at least 10 games the last nine years. Donnelly, a Villanova commit, has played internationally with the U.S. Olympic Youth Development Program and garnered All-State and All-American honors as a sophomore.
12-Ambridge (10-5-1) at 5-Belle Vernon (14-3)
8 p.m. Monday at James Weir Stadium
Winner plays: Winner of 4-Oakland Catholic (12-4-1)/13-South Fayette (9-8) on Thursday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Tracy Lovett, Belle Vernon; Greg Helsel, Ambridge
Players to watch: Jillian Butchki, Jr., F, Belle Vernon; Brandie Nauman, Sr., F, Ambridge
Corner kicks: Belle Vernon went undefeated in Section 2 and won the section crown for the second consecutive year and will look to advance in the playoffs after being upset by South Fayette in the first round a season ago. Butchki and freshman Farrah Reader have paced the Leopards offense. The Leopards have 11 shutouts. Ambridge placed third in Section 4 and will look to advance to the quarterfinals for the fourth consecutive season. The Bridgers were a semifinalist in 2016. Nauman is a Slippery Rock recruit.
14-Franklin Regional (8-8) at 3-West Allegheny (13-2)
8 p.m. Monday at West Allegheny stadium
Winner plays: Winner of 6-Kiski Area (12-4)/11-Ringgold (8-10)
Coaches: Rich Garland, Franklin Regional; Dave Tissue, West Allegheny
Players to watch: Victoria Rothrauff, Sr., MF, Franklin Regional; Ali Block, Sr., D, West Allegheny
Corner kicks: Franklin Regional finished in a fourth-place tie in Section 1 with Gateway and is back in the postseason after missing the playoffs last year for only the second time in 19 years. The Panthers enter the playoffs having lost four of their last five games after having a five-game winning streak midway through the season. Rothrauff is a Seton Hill commit. …West Allegheny won its first section championship, going 11-1 in Section 3. The Indians made the quarterfinals last season. Block anchors a defense that allowed 10 goals in 12 section games and posted five shutouts.
13-Mt. Pleasant (10-6) vs. 4-Burrell (16-0)
6 p.m. Monday at Kiski Area
Winner plays: Winner of 5-Yough (14-1-1/12-Highlands (5-9) on Thursday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Josh Pajak, Mt. Pleasant; Frank Nesko, Burrell
Players to watch: Megan Liberoni, Sr., F/M, Mt. Pleasant; Allie Vescio, Sr., F, Burrell
Corner kicks: Mt. Pleasant finished tied with Brownsville for fourth (6-6) in Section 3. The Vikings finished section play 1-4 after a 5-2 start. Liberoni and Mackenzie Leeder pace the offense. … Burrell outscored its opponents 89-8 en route to its first section title since 2005. The Bucs made it to the WPIAL quarterfinals the past two seasons. Vescio (27 goals), Jordyn Kowalkowski (17), Megan Malits (13) and Danica Johnson (13) are scoring threats. Burrell is seeking its first WPIAL title.
12-Highlands (5-9) at 5-Yough (14-1-1)
6 p.m. Monday at Penn-Trafford
Winner plays: Winner of 4-Burrell (16-0)/13-Mt. Pleasant (10-6) on Thursday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Jenna Plummer, Highlands; Dann Appolonia, Yough
Players to watch: Ariana Kovach, Sr., M/D, Highlands; Justine Appolonia, Sr., F, Yough
Corner kicks: The Golden Rams return to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Highlands missed postseason last year by two points in Section 2-AA standings. Jess Cekada leads the team with 10 goals. Kovach has six goals. … Yough tied third seed South Park for the Section 3 title (10-1-1). Appolonia, a Youngstown State commit, is the program’s career goals leader. Yough scored 5.9 goals a game in the regular season.
5-Greensburg Central Catholic (11-3) vs. 12 -Carlynton (8-5-2)
6 p.m. Monday at Fridley Field, Hampton
Winner plays: Winner of 4-Seton LaSalle (12-5)/13-Springdale (7-9) on Thursday in quarterfinals
Coaches: Ashley Davis, Greensburg Central Catholic; Andrew Bogats, Carlynton
Players to watch: Samantha Nemeth, Sr., MF, Greensburg Central Catholic; Mikayla Walker, Fr., MF., Carlynton
Corner kicks: Greensburg Central Catholic split the Section 1 title with longtime rival Shady Side Academy and will look to get back to Highmark Stadium after losing in the semifinals last year. The Centurions, who enter the playoffs on a four-game winning streak, won WPIAL titles in 2005 ‘11, ‘12, ‘14, ‘15 and ‘17. Senior Brenna Springer is headed to Akron, and sophomore Tatum Gretz is committed to Villanova. … Carlynton placed third in Section 4. The Cougars started the season 6-1, but went 2-3-2 to finish the season, and their last win was Oct. 3, 2-0, over Eden Christian. Walker has been a top offensive threat for Carlynton.