Westmoreland WPIAL soccer playoff preview capsules: Games for Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022

Monday, October 31, 2022 | 3:36 PM

WPIAL soccer playoffs preview

Class 3A


5-Latrobe (12-2-2) vs. 1-Mars (16-0)

6 p.m. Tuesday, Pete Antimarino Stadium, Gateway High School, Monroeville

Winner plays: Winner of 3-Plum (16-1)/2-Moon (18-0) Nov. 5 in WPIAL championship at Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh (time TBD)

Coaches: Jamie Morrison, Latrobe; Blair Gerlach, Mars

Players to watch: Ella Bulava, MF, Latrobe; Gwen Howell, D, Mars

Corner kicks: Will this game produce new blood in the finals, or more of the same? Latrobe advanced to the semifinals for the first time in program history with a 3-0 victory over Thomas Jefferson. Regan Reilly, Annalyse Bauer and Robin Reilly scored, and Sofia DeCerb posted the shutout, the team’s 11th of the season and eighth in nine games. Latrobe is on a roll after losing in the quarterfinals last year to Peters Township. Regan Reilly and Robin Reilly have combined for 33 goals, 17 by Regan. … Mars stretched its four-year unbeaten streak to 79 games. The Fightin Planets are 77-0-2 in that span and have won three straight WPIAL and PIAA championships. Howell scored the winning goals in both playoff winsr, both on corner kicks as Mars edged Penn-Trafford and Franklin Regional 1-0 in overtime. Piper Coffield has a team-leading 21 goals. Mars has 60 shutouts during its streak. The Fightin Planets have not allowed more than one goal in a game since Oct. 5, 2020. … Mars could end up going through four Section 3 teams to win a fourth straight title. … Robin Reilly and Mars’ Julia Lisha are club teammates with the Riverhounds Academy. A number of players in this game play for the ‘Hounds, including Bulava, Howell and Coffield. … The Plum-Moon semifinal also will be played at Gateway, at 8 p.m. … All four semifinalists have qualified for the PIAA playoffs. The semifinal losers, though, will meet in a consolation game Wednesday to determine third and fourth place in the district.

Class 2A


3-South Park (14-5) vs. 2-Mt. Pleasant (18-1)

6 p.m. Tuesday, Peters Township High School, McMurray

Winner plays: Winner of 5-Avonworth (17-3)/1-North Catholic (15-1) Nov. 5 in WPIAL championship at Highmark Stadium, Pittsburgh (time TBD)

Coaches: Tim O’Brien, South Park; Rich Garland, Mt. Pleasant

Players to watch: Cassondra O’Connor, MF, South Park; Riley Gesinski, MF, Mt. Pleasant

Corner kicks: South Park is back in the semifinals for the first time since 2019. It advanced with a 5-0 victory over No. 6 Shady Side Academy. Amara Battista had two goals, and Taylor Vargo and Brooke Paylo added one apiece. The Eagles beat Woodland Hills in the first round 3-0. O’Connor led the team in goals in the regular season with 14. The Eagles reached the quarterfinals last year and lost to Avonworth, 3-1. They lost to Yough in the same round two years ago, 1-0. … Mt. Pleasant roared into the semifinals for the first time with a 4-0 win over No. 7 Freeport. That followed a 12-0 win over West Mifflin. Against Freeport, Marissa Garn netted two goals and assisted on another, and Morgan Gesinski had a goal and an assist. Mt. Pleasant, which has a mostly underclass starting lineup, has posted 14 shutouts and outscored teams 124-11. Six of those opponent goals came in a loss to Moon. South Park was the only other team to score more than one goal against Mt. Pleasant. … Mt. Pleasant beat South Park during the regular season 3-2. Morgan Gesinski had two goals and Rylin Bugosh scored the other for the Lady Vikings. The Eagles’ other losses are to Chartiers Valley (2-0), Burrell (1-0), Shady Side Academy (3-2) and Thomas Jefferson (2-1). … The loser of this game will play the loser of the other semifinal Thursday in a third-place consolation, with the winner advancing to the PIAA playoffs.

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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