Westmoreland WPIAL soccer playoff capsules

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Friday, October 23, 2020 | 5:55 PM


WPIAL soccer playoffs preview

Boys

Class AAA

First round

15-Knoch (7-8) at 2-Franklin Regional (13-2)

Noon Saturday, Panthers Stadium, Murrysville

Winner plays: Winner of 10-Indiana (8-4-2) at 7-Belle Vernon (14-2), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (site TBD) in quarterfinals

Hat tricks: Franklin Regional, which has won the last two WPIAL titles, has 10 shutouts and has allowed seven goals this season. The Panthers beat Laurel Highlands, 16-0, in the first round last year. Junior Anthony DiFalco has 78 career goals. … Knoch was the fourth-place team in Section 1. Five of its losses have come on the road. The Knights last made the playoffs in 2017.

10-Indiana (8-4-2) at 7-Belle Vernon (14-2)

Noon Saturday, James Weir Stadium, Belle Vernon

Winner plays: Winner of 15-Knoch (7-8) at 2-Franklin Regional (13-2), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (site TBD) in quarterfinals

Hat tricks: Indiana took third in Section 1 behind Mars and Hampton. The Indians, who ended the season on a three-game losing streak, lost to Belle Vernon, 1-0, in the first round last year. Senior Sam Fefolt is an underrated goalkeeper. … Belle Vernon split the Section 3 title with Trinity. The Leopards have 81 goals, including 32 by junior forward Daniel Sassak. Senior Nick Nagy has 14 goals and 14 assists.

Girls

Class A

First round

16-Riverside (5-8) vs. 1-Greensburg Central Catholic (12-0)

3 p.m. Saturday, Norwin Knights Stadium, North Huntingdon

Winner plays: Winner of 9-Bentworth (10-4-1) at 8-Springdale (7-6-1), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (site TBD) in quarterfinals

Hat tricks: Greensburg Central Catholic had little resistance in winning the Section 1 title. The Centurions, a WPIAL runner-up and state semifinalist last season, have various scoring threats, including Sara and Sam Felder. Junior Tatum Gretz is a Villanova recruit. … Riverside finished fourth in Section 3. The Panthers lost to No. 3 seed Freedom only 4-3 in their second meeting. They also had a 2-1 loss to No. 6 OLSH.

15-Ligonier Valley (4-11) at 2-Steel Valley (12-0-1)

Noon Saturday, Campbell Field, Munhall

Winner plays: Winner of 7-Chartiers-Houston (8-5-1) at 10-Ellis School (7-3-2), 6:30 p.m. Wednesday (site TBD) in quarterfinals

Hat tricks: Ligonier Valley made the WPIAL playoffs in its first try. The Rams came to District 7 from District 6. They made the playoffs after Apollo-Ridge became ineligible for filing as a Class AA team in the offseason then wanting to change to A. … Steel Valley is the Section 2 champion. Junior midfielder Kelsey Salopek leads the team in scoring but also defends well. The Ironmen are 7-0 at home.

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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