Westmoreland WPIAL soccer playoff capsules: Games of Oct. 23, 2021

Friday, October 22, 2021 | 5:42 PM

Saturday’s games


Class 3A first round

8-Mars (12-4-2) at 9-Belle Vernon (13-4)

2 p.m. at James Weir Stadium, Belle Vernon

Winner plays: Winner of 16-Indiana (10-8)/1-West Allegheny (18-0) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (site TBD)

Mars is the defending WPIAL and PIAA champion. The Fightin’ Planets have overcome key graduation losses to return to the postseason. They shut out seven of their first nine opponents. They lost to only No. 2 seed Hampton, 2-1, and beat 4A No. 8 seed Mt. Lebanon, 2-1. … Belle Vernon finished tied for second in Section 3 with Laurel Highlands and won six of its final seven after a three-game losng streak at midseason. Senior Daniel Sassak has 29 goals this season and a program-record 99 for his career.

14-Trinity (10-5-2) at 3-Franklin Regional (13-3)

2 p.m. at Panther Stadium, Murrysville

Winner plays: Winner of 11-Gateway (10-8)/6-Kiski Area (14-3) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (site TBD)

The fourth-place team out of Section 3, Trinity didn’t allow more than five goals in a game all season, and the Hillers have a win over No. 10 Laurel Highlands (2-0), lost two one-goal games to No. 9 Belle Vernon and tied No. 5 Thomas Jefferson twice. … Perennial contender Franklin Regional shut out 10 of its 16 opponents. The Panthers have reached the WPIAL finals three straight years and have two championships to show for it. Senior forward Anthony DiFalco, who has Division I interest from a number of schools, has 29 goals and 24 assists. His career goal total stands at 114.


Class A first round

16-Eden Christian (4-7-2) at 1-Greensburg Central Catholic (12-1)

Noon at Franklin Regional Panther Stadium, Murrysville

Winner plays: Winner of 9-Winchester Thurston (10-3-1)/8-Riverside (10-7) at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (site TBD)

Eden Christian didn’t win more than two games in a row all season but played well enough to land fourth in Section 4. The team has not allowed more than three goals in a game since late September. The program began in 2013. … High-powered Greensburg Central Catholic is the favorite to repeat as champion after outscoring its opponents 123-20. The Centurions have shutouts in five of their last six games. Sara Felder has 30 goals and 12 assists, and Tatum Gretz has 25 goals and 13 helpers.

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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